Indonesian Hospital Workers Charged with ‘Blasphemy’ for Bathing Physique

Authorities on the Indonesian island of Sumatra charged 4 healthcare staff with blasphemy, a criminal offense within the nation, on Tuesday after they allegedly violated Islamic legislation bathing a deceased coronavirus affected person’s corpse regardless of not being her mahram, or unmarriable shut household.

Islamic legislation forbids girls from exposing their aurat, or components of their physique usually coated for modesty’s sake, to males who usually are not their mahram. The rule applies to the pre-burial bathing ritual of deceased individuals practiced in Islam, which might solely be carried out for a deceased feminine her mahram.

Two nurses and two forensic workers members employed a state hospital in North Sumatra province bathed a 50-year-old deceased feminine coronavirus affected person in September 2020 as a part of the hospital’s routine autopsy hygiene follow however failed to make sure that the deceased girl’s members of the family or feminine hospital workers noticed the showering.

The deceased girl’s household later filed a police grievance in opposition to the 4 male well being staff, who had been subsequently charged with “not offering medical service in accordance with requirements of the career and normal operational procedures” underneath Indonesia’s medical follow legislation, a criminal offense punishable as much as one yr in jail.

North Sumatra Police spokesman Hadi Wahyudi confirmed on February 23 that authorities have determined to additional cost the 4 well being staff with blasphemy underneath Indonesia’s Legal Code (KUHP). Blasphemy is a criminal offense punishable as much as 5 years in jail in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation.

Whereas Indonesia is formally a secular state, a number of spiritual and political teams have known as for the nation to grow to be an Islamic state. The semi-autonomous Indonesian province of Aceh on the northern tip of Sumatra formally enforces Islamic legislation or sharia.

The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the very best Islamic physique in Indonesia, supported charging the well being staff with blasphemy on February 23, noting that MUI issued an Islamic edict or fatwa final yr ruling that medical workers should adhere to Islamic legal guidelines whereas washing the our bodies of deceased coronavirus sufferers.

The fatwa stipulates that “the our bodies of males are washed males or girls who’re their wives and daughters. For girls corpses are washed girls, besides males who’re their husbands and sons [sic],” MUI Deputy Chairman Anwar Abbas informed Indonesia’s Detik Information on Tuesday.

Whereas Abbas informed the information website that he “couldn’t say whether or not the violation was categorized as blasphemy,” he stated the well being staff didn’t wash the corpse in accordance with Islamic legislation.

“As for the time period, I can not categorize it, however what is obvious is that the officers don’t take note of the provisions stipulated Islamic legislation,” he stated.

“It’s clear that the nurses didn’t observe the phrases set Islamic legislation,” Abbas added.

The 4 well being staff haven’t been detained however are required to report back to the North Sumatra district legal professional frequently whereas police proceed their investigation into the case. They remained employed the native state hospital as of this week.

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