Islamic police seal off hotel in Aceh for allowing unmarried couples in rooms

Viva News – February 23, 2021
RedDoorz hotel in Banda Aceh sealed off by Islamic police – February 23, 2021 (CNN)

Agus Rahmat, Dani Randi (Banda Aceh) – Officials from the Banda Aceh municipal Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) and Wilayatul Hisbah (Sharia police, WH) have sealed off a hotel in the Batoh area for frequent violations of Islamic law. The hotel was also sealed off because its operational license expired in 2018.

A joint team from the Indonesian military (TNI), police and Satpol PP were involved in the operation. A seal was also placed on the hotel front door along with a sticker indicating the hotel does not have a license.

Acting Satpol PP and WH Banda Aceh chief Heru Triwijanarko said that in late 2020 they found violations of Islamic law at the hotel where non-muhrim (lawful spouse or male relatives) were free to enter hotel rooms without supervision by hotel staff.

The hotel management, he said, also ignored existing regulations including allowing non-muhrim couples to stay overnight. After conducting an investigation, it also turned out that the hotels' permit had expired.

"In late 2020, violations of regulations were found, after we summoned [the hotel management] there were stipulations which had not been met related to the [operating] license. On several occasions they did indeed commit violations", said Triwijanarko on Tuesday February 23.

Triwijanarko said they are still applying administrative sanctions after issuing written and verbal warnings.

"Right now there are administrative sanctions, we have already issued verbal and written and warnings. If they don't respond in good faith, yes, we'll forcibly revoke their business license", he said.

Triwijanarko said they are targeting several other hotels in Banda Aceh which often violate Islamic law. If they are discovered they will seal the hotels until the hotel owners make a commitment to uphold Islamic law in their business operations.

"All hotels in Banda Aceh are included under Islamic law monitoring. If any violate this we will of course take action. If they continue the violations we'll revoke their licenses", he said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Langgar Syariat Islam, Hotel di Banda Aceh Disegel".]