Aceh province caned several unmarried couples for showing affection in public and two women for prostitution before an enthusiastic audience of hundreds on Friday, April 20.
These canings could be the last to be done in public in the province after Aceh’s governor announced earlier this month that such punishments would be moved indoors.
The women accused of prostitution were caned 11 times each. One of the women held up her hand after the fifth lash, signaling the pain was too intense. She was given a drink and the strokes resumed despite her evident discomfort.
The six young people accused of flirtatious behaviour received between 11 and 22 strokes. Shariah police wanted to convict them of adultery, which would’ve resulted in a greater number of lashes, but they lacked enough witnesses.
Some residents of Aceh are opposed to having the canings performed indoors, as they believe hiding the canings will reduce the deterrent effect. About a thousand people protested outside the Banda Aceh mayor’s office on Thursday.
The caning last year of two men for gay sex before a baying mob drew international attention to Aceh’s increasingly harsh implementation of Shariah law and a wave of condemnation.
Photo courtesy of Associated Press