An Indonesian woman was just caned in public, before a cheering and jeering Muslim crowd, because she was caught having sex outside of marriage.
This is the Muslim-run country that liberals love to point to as an example of moderate Islam.
Yet under strict sharia laws, women are regularly punished in such manner.
In this latest instance, the woman was brought on a stage in Banda Aceh and lashed with a bamboo stick.
From the Daily Mail:
An Indonesian woman was caned in public as a punishment for having sex outside marriage.
The harsh penalty was carried out in a public square as onlookers took photos in Banda Aceh in Indonesia’s Aceh province on Thursday.
The woman – who was not identified – is seen kneeling under a canopy dressed with her hair covered with a white hijab as a person holds a cane that appears to be made out of bamboo against her back.
It was not clear how many lashes the woman received.
Aceh – the only region in the world’s most populous Muslim majority country that imposes Sharia law – has drawn fire in the past for putting moral restrictions on women.
It considers lesbian, gay, bisexual relationships and sex outside of marriage as Sharia law violations.
It also attracted global condemnation for publicly whipping people found guilty of a range of offences including homosexuality, gambling and drinking alcohol.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that a district in Aceh province banned men and women from dining together unless they are married or related, with officials saying it would help women be ‘more well behaved’.
Under the latest regulation, women in Bireuen district on Sumatra island will not be able to share a table with men at restaurants and coffee shops unless they are accompanied by their husband or a close male relative.
Co-workers on their lunch break would also be forbidden from sharing a meal.
‘The objective is to protect women’s dignity so they will feel more comfortable, more at ease, more well behaved and will not do anything that violates sharia,’ local head of the local sharia agency Jufliwan, who like many Indonesians has only one name, said.
Aceh is the only province in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, which implements Islamic law, or Sharia.
Last year, two gay men who admitted having sex were flogged in Aceh, with each receiving 100 strokes of the cane, drawing heavy criticism from rights groups.
Gay sex is not illegal in the rest of Indonesia, which mainly follows a criminal code inherited from former colonial ruler the Netherlands.
The province of Banda Aceh began implementing Sharia law after being granted autonomy in 2001 – an attempt by the government in Jakarta to quell a long-running separatist insurgency.
Islamic laws have been strengthened since Aceh struck a peace deal with Jakarta in 2005.
People are flogged for a range of offences including gambling, drinking alcohol, gay sex or any sexual relationship outside marriage.
More than 90 per cent of the 255million people who live in Indonesia describe themselves as Muslim, but the vast majority practice a moderate form of the faith.
The brutal and public beatings have become more prevalent this year with a number of reported incidents of those being punished collapsing in pain on stage.
Back in September 2014, Aceh approved an anti-homosexuality law that can punish anyone caught having gay sex with 100 lashes.
After a three-decade-old separatist movement, a peace agreement signed in 2005 granted special autonomy to Aceh, at the northern tip of Sumatra, on condition that it remained part of the sprawling archipelago.
As part of that deal, Aceh won the right to be the only Indonesian province to use Islamic sharia law as its legal code.
Anybody caught engaging in consensual gay sex is punished with 100 lashes, 100 months in jail or a fine of 1,000 grams of gold.
The law also set out punishment for sex crimes, unmarried people engaging in displays of affection, people caught found guilty of adultery and underage sex.
Religious police in Aceh have been known to target Muslim women without head scarves or those wearing tight clothes, and people drinking alcohol or gambling.
Over the past decade, the central government has devolved more power to regional authorities to increase autonomy and speed up development.
Engaging in homosexual acts is not a crime under Indonesia’s national criminal code but remains taboo in many conservative parts of the country with the world’s largest Muslim population.
The trend appeared to be slowing down after a string of worrying incidents at the turn of the new year, but the new pictures reveal the practice still looms large in Indonesia.
Men and women have collapsed in pain due to the severity of their injuries and people can be caned for something as innocent as standing too close to a partner in public or being seen alone with someone they are not married to.
In the past two years or so, MailOnline has reported on the troubling rising trend of public lashings carried out in Aceh, Indonesia:
March 1, 2016: Woman whipped 50 times for spending time alone with a man at the age of 19.
March 24, 2016: Young woman carried from the stage on a stretcher after being lashed for sex outside marriage.
August 1, 2016: Another woman is lashed for going on a date in Aceh.
August 15, 2016: Elderly man caned for breaking Sharia law.
September 11, 2016: Man and a woman lashed for having an affair and among the gathered crowd is the mayor of Banda Aceh.
October 17, 2016: Muslim woman screams out in pain on stage after being lashed 23 times for standing too close to her boyfriend.
October 31, 2016: A woman, 20, caned in public for getting too close to a man she wasn’t married to.
November 28, 2016: Man and a woman lashed 100 times each for adultery.
February 2, 2017: Enforcer lands 26 beatings across the back of a woman for having sex outside of wedlock.
February 10, 2017: Woman collapses in pain on stage as she is being caned.
February 27, 2017: Man collapses on stage as he is being whipped for having sex outside of marriage.
August 25, 2017: Ten Indonesians sentenced to up to 100 lashes of the whip for adultery.
September 12, 2017: Woman hospitalised after 100 lashes for being with a man who wasn’t her husband.
November 17, 2017: Woman is caned for adultery.
January, 2018: Indonesian Christian man is publicly flogged 36 times for selling alcohol.
February, 2018: Man and woman, both also Christian, flogged six and seven times respectively for playing a children’s entertainment game.
Another part of the directive – signed by the district head on August 5 – said women who were alone or not with family should not be served at restaurants and cafés after 9pm.
Authorities say it will be up to restaurateurs to enforce the regulation, although offenders will not be punished.
Three years ago, provincial capital Banda Aceh banned unaccompanied women from entertainment venues like cafes and sports halls after 11pm.
In 2013, Lhokseumawe city in Sumatra’s north ordered women to sit ‘side-saddle’ on motorbikes with their legs dangling off to one side.
The mayor at the time said straddling male drivers on motorbikes was ‘improper’.
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