The opposite of Kuwait

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    http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/06/27/news/islam.php

    Spread of Islamic law in Indonesia takes toll on women

    To a passer-by, the dress and demeanor of Lilis Lindawati would have attracted little attention as she waited in the dark in this busy industrial city for a ride home.

    She wore green pants, a denim jacket, beige sandals with modest heels, burgundy lipstick and penciled eyebrows. Her black hair flowed freely, unencumbered by a head scarf, the sign of a religious Muslim woman that is increasingly prevalent in Indonesia but not mandatory.

    In a now widely recounted incident, Lindawati, 36, was hustled into a government van that clammy February evening by brown-uniformed police, known as tranquillity and public order officers.

    "They put about 20 of us in the police station and then went out again to target the hotels," she said, telling the story as she sat on the floor of her family's two-room, $12-a-month rental, her husband beside her.

    She was charged with being a prostitute under a new local law forbidding lewd behavior, and in an unusual public hearing attended by local dignitaries and residents, she was sentenced with some of the other women to three days in jail.
     

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