Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province publicly whipped 15 people on Friday, including a homosexual couple, despite a pledge in April to hold canings only inside prisons after the punishment drew international condemnation.
Two men each received 86 lashes after they were found guilty in June of engaging in gay sex. The other 13, including five women, were hit with a cane between 13 and 27 times for less serious offences, such as being intimate with the opposite sex while unmarried, and selling alcohol.
A group of Malaysian tourists joined about 1,000 spectators, some of whom mocked those who walked to the raised platform to be caned.
“Come on, strike harder!” one person yelled at the officer who administered the whipping.
“The punishment was carried out publicly because there’s still no technical guidelines on how to implement it in prisons,” said Muhammad Hidayat, the head of the sharia police known as Wilayatul Hisbah in the provincial capital Banda Aceh.
On April 12, local officials signed an agreement declaring that canings would be carried out in prisons despite protests from a legislator and a group of students who said the punishment served as a deterrent.
Full story: BenarNews
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