In Tangerang the carrying of make-up compacts and lipstick may land women in court on charges of prostitution.
Lilies, 35, was arrested and convicted summarily of soliciting in February this year, under draconian anti-prostitution laws in the satellite city of Jakarta. She is married and at that time she was two months pregnant. She says that she was standing by the roadside waiting for a public transportation vehicle, a bemo, after just having been to her place of previous employment in an attempt to get her last salary cheque.
As she was waiting suddenly five public order officers approached and, calling her a prostitute, bundled her into a van.
I asked them why they were arresting me, but they said to save it for later at their office. I told them that I had a husband, but they ignored me.
Her arrest, she says, was part of chaotic scene in which 20 officers rounded up all the women in the area, including two teenagers eating at a sidewalk cafe and a 63-year-old woman buying food at the side of the road.
Lilies said she protested her innocence, giving her national identity card to one of the officers, but they considered the fact the she had makeup in her bag as proof that she was plying the world's oldest trade.
She was held overnight in a police lock-up, with her trial and that of the others scheduled for the next day. At her trial, as the event coincided with the celebration of Tangerang city's founding day:
Lots of government officials and residents were gathered there. They were laughing at us as if we were part of a show.
She felt threatened by the judge's questions:
I felt humiliated. I cried and told them that I had a husband. But I could not have him there to the trial to prove it since I was not allowed to call him.
She was convicted and then fined about $30 but as she did not have the money she was held in custody. A reporter from Kompas newspaper attending the trial took pity on her and contacted her husband, Kustoyo. Her husband later said:
The journalist told me that my wife had been put in front of many people as a prostitute. I felt like I was dying.
The incident continues to be embarrassing for the whole family, and Lilies is reluctant to leave the house. She has reported the Tangerang Mayor, Wahidin Halim, to the police for wrongful arrest and defamation of character. Her husband, who is a schoolteacher, however, has been threatened by his employers over the matter:
They [the Tangerang Education agency] made me sign an agreement that I would not take the mayor to court.
One Isma, from the Tangerang office of the Indonesian Women's Coalition, said there were fifteen other women with similar experiences of wrongful arrest.
Mayor Wahidin Halim, in tacit acknowledgement of the problem, said that his administration had submitted a draft of guidelines on enforcement of the by-law in order to prevent any more wrongful arrests. He added he would take stern measures against any officers who erred in the enforcement of the law.
16th April 2007. The High Court has ruled that the Tangerang law against prostitution is valid and not in conflict with higher laws.
The case against the law had been brought by three of its victims, Lilis Mahmudah, Tuti Rachmawati, and Hesti Prabowo in April 2006. 
Those fanatics zealots are REALLY INSANE!!!
And that’s just the beginning.
I believe that these police officers should arrest their own mothers first!
The fundamentalist try to add Sjariat Islam in the Indonesian constitution and they failed because of Pancasila but now they go through the back door by creating local laws. R A Kartini fought to free the Indonesian woman from all this Arab rubbish and now it is back again but using religious as an excuse. Indonesia are influence by the West and yes the west from Indonesia is Arab.
Totally agree with Anton.
The Mayor of Tanggerang should be remove from office. The High Court should be held responsible for such unjst rulings.
Being a mayor you were suppose to enforce the current constitutional law concurrent with Pancasila’s doctrination.
Prostitution is illegal, so you say, and that must be proven to the fact that these women have taken or receive money in exchange for sex favors. Not on the roadside or having lipsticks in their bag!
Or is that the governmetn disallowed the publi to carry lipstick or cosmetic with them?
These people had acted by claiming that they are enforcing the Sharia Law. even the Sharia Law you still need to prove that they were actually engage in a transaction receiving payment in exchange for sexual favors. Not because a pretty pregnant woman or a nice looking 63 years old lady buying were all arrested for engaging in prostitution.
So the ruling by the judge should be overuled by the Supreme Court or by the Constitution.
You can rule that prostitution is illegal in common law. You cannot rule because some c**k s**ker arrest someone and charge them under Sharia Law and you deemed that to be a righful action and collaborate in passing the same judgement condoning their action.
What is SBY doing. What is the justice minister doing. F**k them all.
Few may be aware of the fact that so many law enforcers do in fact abuse Sharia (Islamic) law, which is most stringent and strict when it comes to proof of guilt in matters relating to sexual offences such as adultry, prostitution, and the like. One of the major crimes in Islam is Qadhf (defamation), which is enlisted as Hadd (plural Huddud). Under this rule, if any person accuses another of a criminal sexual act, then the most stringent evidence is required, failing which the accuser must himself be punished under the Qadhf (defamation) law. To sum up, it is the whyms and stray desires of law enforcers and others backing them, coupled with their ignorance about Islam that causes injustice against innocent ladies and their families around the globe.
In the UK we have a tiny Muslim minority but some of the more “loud mouthed” so called community “leaders”,self appointed ofcourse are demanding “Sharia” law for this country.The arrogance of some of these people astounds me.Again in this Tangerang case those with power abuse Islam to give themselves powers to wich they have no ligitimate right.This kind of thing is happening all over the Musim world and gives Islam a bad name.We should all fight injustice wherever we find it, whatever our own religion or even if we have none.
Next door in Australia we are not much better than in Tangerang in that we want to go the other direction and ban all traditional coverings. This is just as bad – it is a person telling another person what to do, whether that means he says she can’t wear makeup or she can’t wear a burqa is all the same.
It is a shame that people use religion to enforce their own authoritarian ideas of morality, but we must remember it happens in all religions. If the people want Sharia law so be it, but it must be enforced correctly. Corruption is not a function of laws or beliefs, it is a function of greed.