For violating the conservative state’s strict Sharia code, women accused of being prostitutes in Indonesia’s Aceh province, were flogged alongside a man despite moves earlier this year for the punishments to be carried out in prison.
The flogging of the alleged prostitutes and the man took place before a crowd at a stadium in the city of Lhokseumawe, the second largest city on Aceh, and photos shared online showed the two women and the man beaten several times by a masked man wielding a cane.
Though it is unclear what the man was accused of, however photos showed the lacerations on his back from the impact of the cane as he grimaced in pain. This public punishment is coming few months after a memorandum of understanding was signed by Aceh Governor, Irwandi Yusuf and Yuspahruddin, head of the provincial Law and Human Rights office, to end outdoor canings.
It stipulated that caning will only take place inside prisons or other places of detention. Adults could still witness the punishment, but recording would not be allowed and the numbers of people will be much smaller than the hundreds who regularly cheered the outdoor proceedings.
But the move to end public canings ran into opposition from hardline, Islamic Defender Front. The group staged a public protest in front of the governor’s office which turned violent, and resulted in several people getting arrested by the police, Australia’s ABC broadcaster reported.
The local head of Islamic Defender Front, Muslim at-Tahiry, stated that: ‘Based on Islamic law, the whip should be done in public, witnessed by the believers.
‘That is to be a lesson for the perpetrators and the people who watch it. So they really should be embarrassed. This works as a deterrent.’
The local parliament has also rejected the new rule and filed a complaint to the Supreme Court in Jakarta.
‘A special session of Aceh’s parliament has officially decided that parliament will take legal action against the governor’s decision and we will ask that the regulation be revoked,’ MP Azhari Cage said.
Mr Cage said the parliament questioned the Aceh Provincial Government linking public canings with putting off investors, and slow-down in investment in the province.
Here are more photos below;