Two people who are reported to be Christians have been flogged publicly in Indonesia for playing children’s video game.
They were flogged alongside other people including a couple that was caught flirting in public. The offenders were caught on different occasions and sentenced to public flogging in the Aceh Province of the Islamic country.
Hundreds of onlookers jeered and took photos as the accused, who were deemed to have violated strict Islamic law, were beaten outside a mosque on Tuesday.
Dahlan Silitonga, 61, and Tjia Nyuk Hwa, 45, were flogged six and seven times respectively after being arrested for playing a game at a children’s arcade.
The pair were accused of “gambling” while another man, Ridwan MR, got 19 lashes for simply being there and doing nothing to stop the pair.
Banda Aceh’s mayor Aminullah Usman said the public flogging was meant to deter others from “violating Sharia law”.
According to him, in a country where there is no law, there will be no crime and since it has been established that these acts are against Islam, anyone caught in the act will surely face the wrath of the law;
In his words:
“All these people gathered here today will understand that what these offenders do is not right according to the teaching of the Quran. They will be deterred from doing same and this will make them live their lives according to Islam and not engage in any Harram activity”
In a similar occurrence just some few weeks back, in the same province, a woman was sentenced to public flogging for sitting too close to her husband-to-be. This is prohibited according to the laws of the land.
She was sentenced to 20 strokes of the cane.
Aceh is the only province in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country that imposes sharia law on its citizens.