Seeking to dampen international criticism and protect children, officials in Indonesia’s Aceh province have decided to move public canings indoors and regulate who can attend.
Henceforth, canings of people convicted of violating Islamic law will take place inside prisons and not in mosque courtyards, where they have been attended by thousands of people, many of whom filmed the spectacle.
Local officials signed off on the change in the provincial capital on Thursday despite protests by a legislator and a group of students who said public canings serve as a deterrent.
“We don’t want implementation of this punishment to get in the way of our foreign relations, because of Islamophobia,” Aceh Gov. Irwandi Yusuf told journalists, explaining why he issued the regulation. He said a limited number of spectators could still watch indoor canings.
“Children are not allowed inside. Visitors can’t bring camera, or cell phones,” he said.
“Can you image if children watch it and see the public cheering, clapping. It is not what Sharia law intends.”
National and international human right activists have been critical of the Aceh canings, calling them human rights violations.
Full story: BenarNews
Banda Aceh, Indonesia
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