Young Couple Among 18 Caned in Indonesia for Sharia Breach

A 19-year-old woman was caned for spending time alone with her boyfriend in Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province, Indonesia.

She and her 21-year-old boyfriend were given 10 strokes of the cane each. The sentence had been reduced by two strokes because of time spent in detention.

16 others were caned for a variety of offences that violated Aceh province’s sharia by-laws, known as ‘Qanun’ according to The Jakarta Post. The canings were meted out publicly in front of the mayor and thousands of local residents on Tuesday March 1.

  • 10 were given eight strokes each for gambling. Two strokes had been deducted from each sentence due to time spent in detention.
  • Six received 40 strokes each for consuming liquor.

“This punishment is a form of learning” Banda Aceh Mayor Illiza Saaduddin Djama told the media. “People who witness the caning should be encouraged not to commit the same crime as those who have been found guilty of violating Islamic sharia.”

Sharia was incorporated into the legal system of Aceh province in 2005 as part of a peace deal with the Islamist Free Aceh Movement.

Part of the peace accord allows the establishment of sharia laws to govern the moral behavior of Muslims in the province, including, for example, the prohibition of close contact between men and women who are not related to one another, the prohibition of alcohol, the selling and public consumption of food during the month of Ramadan, the obligation of women to wear a hijab (Islamic head covering) as well as the prohibition of women of wearing tight pants and straddling motorcycles.

In 2014 legislation was passed to apply sharia to non-Muslims as well. 

This video looks at life life under sharia law in Aceh: