A group of unmarried pairs were brutally thrashed in Indonesia’s Aceh province on Thursday after they were caught having strong feelings of sexual desire, which is a serious crime under the orthodox region’s Islamic law.
Whipping is a common punishment for a range of crimes in the region at the tip of Sumatra island. If you are gambling, drinking alcohol and having gay sex, you would get the same treatment. Shockingly, it is the only province in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country that imposes Islamic law.
The five couples were beaten badly on Thursday as they received between four and 22 strokes from a rattan cane object outside a mosque in Banda Aceh, after they served several months in cell.
It should be noted that religious police caught the unmarried couples cuddling, holding hands or having sex. Then all of them got into big trouble as scores of spectators, including children, watched in broad daylight as the masked sharia officer whipped the offenders as they cried in pain.
“We hope in the future there will be no more cases like this — it’s embarrassing,” said religious officer Safriadi.
This is not the first time that the police caught the offenders as previously, in December, two men were caught having sex with underage girls. As a punishment, the offenders were whipped 100 times each in the province capital.
Seeing this, Rights groups hit out at public caning as cruel act, and even Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has called for it to stop this practice, but it has wide support among Aceh’s population and so there is no stopping.