Three couples were publicly caned in Indonesia’s Shariah-ruled Aceh province yesterday after being found guilty of having sex out of wedlock, an official said.
The couples, aged between 18 and 25, were brought to a public stage in the provincial capital Banda Aceh and given 20, 14 and 13 lashes respectively by masked officers dressed in flowing robes, said Yusnardi, the head of the Shariah police in Aceh.
“They were guilty of violating Shariah law on the illicit mixing of the sexes,” he said.
Illicit sex is punishable by up to 100 lashes of the cane, or 100 months in prison under Aceh’s Islamic criminal code, which was passed in 2014.
The law also bans gambling, alcohol consumption and being alone with someone of the opposite sex while unmarried.
In April, a 60-year-old Christian woman was caned in public in Aceh for selling alcoholic beverages, despite the fact that the Islamic law does not apply to non-Muslims.
Officials said she elected to be punished under Shariah because she was too old to serve time in prison.
Aceh is the only Indonesian province allowed to impose religious law as part of the central government’s attempts to appease its desires for independence.
Jakarta signed a peace agreement with separatist rebels in 2005, ending decades of conflict that killed more than 15,000 people.
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