A 20-year-old Indonesian woman was caned after being caught standing too close to her boyfriend, AFP reported.
Under Sharia law in Indonesia, unmarried couples are forbidden from becoming too intimate. And so, after being accused of breaking the rules, the woman was brought to a stage outside a mosque after being escorted by two women and forced to kneel on the ground.
20-year-old Muslim woman is caned after being caught in close proximity to her boyfriend in violation of sharia law in Banda Aceh, Indonesia pic.twitter.com/dwF8rQ3E1R— AFP News Agency (@AFP) October 31, 2016
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The woman was among 13 people – seven men and six women aged between 21 and 30 – who were caned at a mosque in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, as a baying crowd cheered the spectacle.
Six couples were found guilty of breaking Islamic laws on intimacy, such as touching, hugging and kissing, between unmarried people.
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A man was caned for a less serious offence described as spending time with a member of the opposite sex in a hidden location in a fashion that could lead to adultery.
One 22-year-old woman was granted a temporary reprieve as she was pregnant. But Aceh’s deputy mayor, Zainal Arifin, said: “The punishment will be handed down after she gives birth.”
He added that he hoped the canings would serve as a deterrent: “We hope there are no more people in Banda Aceh who break the law in future.”
More and more people are being caned in Aceh. The number of women being flogged has particularly increased in recent times.
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The province, on Sumatra island, began implementing sharia law after being granted special 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.
More than 90% of Indonesians describe themselves as Muslim, but the vast majority practise a moderate form of the faith.
This article originally appeared on Guardian.
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