An Indonesian Muslim cleric who is a member of a council of theologians which helped frame Islamic laws, including flogging for some offenses, was publicly caned Thursday in Aceh province for an extramarital affair with a married woman.
Mukhlis bin Muhammad, a member of the Aceh Ulema Consultative Council in Aceh Besar regency, became the first religious figure to be sentenced under the sharia law in the deeply conservative region.
He received 28 lashes from a hooded man in a caning ceremony attended by about 100 spectators at a public park in the provincial capital Banda Aceh.
The woman with whom the 46-year-old Mukhlis had an affair was caned 25 times.
Mukhlis and the 33-year-old woman, both of whom are married, were found guilty by Aceh’s sharia court of ikhtilat, or being alone together while unmarried, after they were caught being together in a car at a beach near Banda Aceh last month.
Two lashes were deducted from the sentences because they had spent more than a month in detention.
The couple covered their faces with their hands as they were led to a raised platform to be caned by two officers.
Sharia law in Aceh regulates mixing of the sexes, gambling, drinking and selling liquor, sex outside marriage, rape, sexual harassment and homosexual sex.
Full story: BenarNews
Banda Aceh, Indonesia
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