Anyone considering travelling to North Aceh for diving at Pulau Weh, do be careful.http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/01/08/hundreds-tourists-cancel-trips-aceh.html
The below comment was left on the news site by an eye witness, Alicia:
I feel pressed to spread the word on the above incident during the New Year celebrations in Pulau Weh (Sabang), Aceh Province, Sumatra, just days after the 10 year Tsunami commemoration.
In contrast to the statement provided by Sabang Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Nurmeiningsih in the article above, I can confirm there was unprovoked violence due to the use of a taser gun on at least two women and verbal threats to burn the bungalows.
We, three tourists from the Netherlands, were eyewitness to a taser gun attack on both local people and foreign tourists by a group of 20 men on the beach just outside the Casa Nemo bungalow resort we were staying at. We were just relaxing after our midnight swim, sitting on the beach, when a group of 20 men and boys from the local village (some not older than 15) stormed through the crowd of visitors on the beach right outside Casa Nemo. Some Chinese tourists were lighting a wish balloon at the time. This was at 00:20.
One man, wearing a black hoodie, was carrying an item that was unmistakably a taser (stun gun), judging by its shape, the zapping sound and electric blue light. He was shouting, 'get up, get up! No party for Muslims!'. Threats were made to burn the bungalows. In a state of utter confusion, around 40-50 local visitors and foreign tourists alike scrambled up the stairs to the relative safety of the restaurant. One man filmed the entire event on a white tablet. We managed to hide against the beach wall adjacent to the steps.
The group of men rushed up the stairs and tasered two women: one staff member and one guest. Both are Muslim. Though we did not witness this ourselves, there are several pictures of one woman, lying unconscious or in a seemingly unreactive state. I later spoke to this woman, who was still visibly shocked, about 30 minutes after the event. As I am a 5th year medical student, I did a short medical checkup together with another medical student. In addition to red marks on both her back and right shoulder (corresponding to fthe taser), her left ankle was swollen. She had several bruises on her lower legs.
As the rest of the crowd ran up the stairs, we fled to our beachfront bungalow, watching the events unfold from a safe distance. After a couple of minutes, the group of local men retreated back to the beach around the corner, some 20m from our bungalow. There, they threatened us with aggressive hand signals and flashing lights. Very soon after that, both the Police and Military Police showed up, in quite large numbers. The group ascended up the stairs, towards the Police. Some words were spoken in Indonesian. The group was allowed to leave. No arrests were made.
Personally, I am convinced this sort of violence to a human being should be condemned by all, regardless of personal or religious convictions. I will stress that this act of violence does not do justice to the otherwise friendly and warm-hearted people of Sabang. However, I am deeply hesistant to recommend this island to fellow tourists, as the safety of both local visitors and foreigners cannot be guaranteed. In our time here, there have been two police raids, culminating in the events described above. A shame for an island with so much potential.