Two men were punished with 77 lashes of the cane in Indonesia’s sharia-ruled Aceh province on Thursday after being found chargeable of a gay relationship. The men, aged 28 and 27, were judged in a sharia court after being caught having a physical relationship in a rented room in November, said Zakwan Shi, the head of investigations at the provincial sharia police.
They were caught in the act by the landlord who grew suspicious after the tenant kept bringing several men to his room. They were convicted to 80 lashes each but were caned 77 times at a public whipping session at the Taman Sari public park in the provincial capital Banda Aceh, to compensate for their time in detention.
Aceh is the only region in Indonesia where sharia law is practiced. The sharia code in Aceh controls the mixing of sexes, gambling, drinking and selling liquor, sex outside marriage, rape, sexual harassment, and homosexual sex.
Canings in Aceh are carried out publicly, a view that often draws hundreds of people and cameras. Arrangements by the local government to carry out corporal punishment in prisons have not developed, with officials citing technicalities.