More than a thousand people crowded the courtyard of a mosque in Indonesia’s Aceh province on Tuesday, jeering and shouting insults as two young men, 20 and 23, were publicly flogged over 80 times for having consensual gay sex.
Aceh is the only province in Indonesia to practice Shariah law; this is the first public caning for the crime of homosexuality there.
Five robed and hooded figures doled out the punishment as the young men winced and cried out in pain. Many spectators took photos and videos on their mobile devices.
The young men were sentenced to 85 lashings last week (100 is the maximum); they were arrested in March. Authorities (vigilantes) had suspected them of being gay, then raided a hotel room they rented and found them having sex.
This public flogging had a significantly higher turnout than usual, because people wanted to witness the first-ever public caning for gay sex.
Sarojini Mutia Irfan, a female student, weighed in on the punishment:
"What they have done is like a virus that can harm people's morale. This kind of public punishment is an attempt to stop the spread of the virus to other communities in Aceh.”
A total of 15 people were punished at the flogging, though the others received fewer lashings for crimes like showing affection outside of wedlock and selling alcohol. Lashings are also commonly served to women who wear tight clothes and people who don’t pray.
Homosexuality isn’t technically illegal in Indonesia outside of Aceh, yet the LGBTQ+ community has nevertheless felt violent discrimination throughout the country with the world’s largest Muslim population.
A banner was raised in Aceh’s capital, Banda Aceh, demanding that Shariah law upheld at whatever cost necessary, courtesy of the The Islamic Defenders Front.
A case before the country’s highest court is pushing to make gay sex and all sex out of wedlock illegal throughout Indonesia.
On Monday, 141 men were arrested in a raid on a gay sauna in Indonesia’s capital.
Human Rights Watch has publicly called for Indonesia’s President President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to denounced the “medieval” torture and human rights violations.
h/t: The Telegraph
h/t: Pink News