A young woman screamed in pain as she was caned Monday in front of a jeering crowd in Indonesia’s Aceh, the latest person to be punished for breaking the province’s strict Islamic laws. The woman was among 13 people, seven men and six women aged between 21 and 30 -who were caned Monday at a mosque in the provincial capital Banda Aceh, as a baying crowd cheered the spectacle.
A man was caned for a less serious offence described as spending time with a member of the opposite sex in a hidden location in a fashion that could lead to adultery.
One 22-year-old woman due to be flogged was given a temporary reprieve as she was pregnant — but Aceh Deputy Mayor Zainal Arifin pledged: “The punishment will be handed down after she gives birth.”
The official added that he hoped the canings would serve as a deterrent: “We hope there are no more people in Banda Aceh who break the law in future.”
Aceh is the only province in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country that imposes sharia law. People can face floggings for a range of offences — from gambling, to drinking alcohol, to gay sex.