Two couples are thrashed 20 times with canes as punishment for being caught ‘having sex outside marriage’ in Sharia law-ruled region of Indonesia

Two couples have received thrashes with canes after allegedly having sex outside marriage, breaking strict laws on gender relations in the most conservative region of Indonesia....READ FULL ARTICLE

The province of Aceh is the only area that practices Sharia law in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, and the only region where floggings take place.

Horrifying pictures show the brutal punishments of up to 20 lashes being meted out by members of the Sharia police, known as the Wilayatul Hisbah.

The women are seen kneeling with their heads bowed and the men standing up as they are caned.

In the aftermath, more disturbing images show one man’s injuries after he received the lashes, with officials inspecting his back which is left bleeding and scarred.

Acehnese couples get a religious lecture before receiving caning punishment in front of the public for violating Sharia law, in Banda Aceh, Indonesia

A member of the Sharia police canes a woman after she was allegedly caught in proximity to a man, against the strict laws of the region

An Acehnese man stands firm on a blue mat as he receives a caning punishment. Medical officials inspect a man’s back after he received lashes

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People are seen taking pictures of the thrashing, which was reportedly carried out in public. The victims also received medical check-ups before the thrashes were given out, with medics pictured checking the men’s blood pressure.

Strengthened laws were brought in by Aceh’s government last year aimed at ‘reducing sin’ by keeping the opposite sexes apart.

Men and women who are not related or married are forbidden from being in close quarters in public places or vehicles

Lawmakers said the tightened legislation is intended ‘to mold a generation of people who faithfully comply with Islamic values in their daily lives,’ he said.

‘Men and women who are not married or related cannot sit together in public places, secluded places or in vehicles,’ according to the official notice.

As part of the crackdown on socialising, authorities also ordered the province’s 24-hour coffee shops to close at midnight, limiting the most popular source of entertainment in the region.

The mayor of Banda Aceh, the capital of the region, warned that he would deploy the Sharia Police to ensure compliance with the new rules.

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An Acehnese man gets a medical check up before receiving caning punishment for violating Sharia law. A man (in white) is caned by a member of the Sharia police as punishment for being caught in near a woman in Banda Aceh.

Injuries on a man’s back are checked on by a medic after he received up to 20 lashes for breaking Sharia law.

Offences punishable with caning are said to include intimacy or sexual activity for unmarried couples, sex outside of marriage, same-sex sexual relations, selling and consuming alcohol, and gambling.

Floggings in Aceh have long been a public spectacle held in outdoor spaces, with police and the public often filming the punishments to add to the humiliation they intend to inflict on those receiving them.

For years, human rights campaigners have called for the inhuman and ‘degrading form of punishment’ of caning to end, urging the Indonesian government to take action.

For years, floggings have been a public spectacle in outdoor spaces, but many now are carried out inside Two of the alleged religious law breakers are cuffed to each other as they are escorted by the prosecutor to their punishment.

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Medics check over a woman after she was caned as a punishment for breaking strict gender relation laws. Amnesty International Indonesia’s monitoring found that Aceh authorities had carried out at least 60 public floggings against 254 people in 2020.

Back in 2019, reports emerged that a woman and a man lost consciousness as they were whipped during separate public punishments on the same day.

In 2021, two men accused of same-sex ‘offences’ were caned 77 times each in front of a 100-strong crowd.

Usman Hamid, Amnesty International Indonesia’s Executive Director, said at the time: ‘No-one deserves to be brutalised and humiliated in this way… Flogging constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and can amount to torture.

‘We strongly urge both the Aceh and central government authorities to take immediate action to halt this cruel practice and revoke the bylaws that allow them to take place.’...READ FULL ARTICLE

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