Officials in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, held a public caning Monday. According to the Jakarta Post, six people were brutally beaten outside a mosque for indecency and gambling, activities prohibited by the province of Aceh’s Islamic bylaws, or “qanun.”
Among the guilty were two university students, a man, 23, and a woman, 20, who were caned five times each for displaying affectionate contact while unmarried, a violation known as “khalwat.”
The young woman, Nur Elita, was the first to be punished. The caning she received from a masked man was so severe that officials had to escort her to an ambulance after the beating, the Jakarta Post reported.
Hundreds of cheering onlookers witnessed Monday’s canings, which took place in the front yard of the Baiturrahim mosque.
Banda Aceh’s Deputy Mayor Zainal Arifin, who stood among the crowd, explained to bystanders that the punishments were meant to be a lesson for all and not simply entertainment.
“Take these punishments as a lesson. What has been done by these convicts should not be taken as an example. And I hope their canings in Meuraxa district today will be the last ever,” Arifin said, according to Antara news agency.
Four other men were convicted for gambling. Each received five lashes.
“And to the public, I ask that you do not isolate those who have been punished here today. Also, the convicted are reminded not to repeat their mistakes,” the Arifin added.
The deputy mayor entreated the community to examine themselves and their families to ensure that they, too, do not violate Shariah law.
As of now, Aceh is the only province in Indonesia to implement the Shariah law system, which was first adopted in 2003, after the province received special autonomy.
(H/T: Jakarta Post)