Another round of canings took place Wednesday in Banda Aceh, the Indonesian province on the northern tip of Sumatra island that demands strict adherence to Sharia law. The punishment that made global headlines — and drew loud cheers from the audience on hand to watch — was for two men who each received 83 lashings for engaging in gay sex, a violation of Sharia law. It was the first time caning has been used as a punishment for sodomy or homosexuality. Some heterosexual couples were subjected to floggings as well, for activities that, under the strict interpretation of Sharia, are considered crimes.
One woman was sentenced to 30 lashings for a crime that, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, amounted to hugging and kissing outside of marriage. The woman made it to nine lashes into her flogging before the punishment had to be stopped so a medical team could examine her. She was unable to continue with the punishment, but got no mercy from the audience. “You are strong in bed, but you pretend to be in pain when caned,” someone reportedly yelled at her. Another woman was given 28 lashings for engaging in physical affection outside of marriage.
Canings have been in the rise recently in Aceh. Last year, a reporter traveled there to document the increase in public floggings, and captured video of an 18-year-old woman being caned for “lustful conduct.” The Muslim majority province has been even applying Sharia law to non-Muslims. Last year, a 60-year-old Christian woman was caned for selling alcohol.
Read the full story at The Sydney Morning Herald.