Unmarried couple publicly whipped in Indonesia after being caught kissing
An unmarried couple were publicly whipped in Indonesia after they were caught kissing in a parked car.
The woman, RO, 23, and the man, M, 24, each received 21 lashings with a rattan cane today (Wednesday, June 7) at the Bustanul Salatin complex on the island of Sumatra, Sindo News reports.
Photos show a police officer speaking on a microphone to onlookers, who observed the couple receiving their punishment and took pictures.
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The woman and man were also snapped being led individually to a room where they each received their punishment.
As the woman was thrashed, she appeared to slump onto the floor in pain.
The couple were originally meant to receive 25 lashings each, but this was ultimately reduced.
Head of Criminal Investigation Section of the Banda Aceh Prosecutor's Office, Isnawati, in Banda Aceh, said: "The two of them violated Article 25 paragraph (1) of Qanun Aceh Number 6 of 2014 concerning the Jinayat Law [Islamic criminal law], namely the act of conscientiousness."
The pair were discovered in the Ule Lee Harbor area of Banda Aceh City, Sumatra, performing the act which goes against Islamic criminal law.
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A police officer reportedly saw a parked car swaying before going to check the vehicle and found the couple kissing, Aceh media outlet Bithe reported.
Before receiving the lashings RO was detained at the Lhoknga prison in Aceh Besar, while M was held in custody at the Kajhu detention centre.
Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country, with just under 90% of the population practicing the religion.
Despite this, Islam is just one of six official religions in the country, with Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Confucianism and Buddhism also recognised.
Islamic law is not implemented across the nation – in fact, Aceh is the only of the nation's 34 provinces that can legally adopt bylaws derived from Sharia thanks to a 2005 autonomy deal agreed with the central government to curb the demands of the separatist movement, reports MailOnline.
The "close proximity" law means associations between unmarried individuals of the opposite sex can be a criminal offence under certain circumstances, and public whipping is a common punishment for breaking this rule.
Lashings can also be given to individuals who engage in gambling, adultery, drinking alcohol and having gay or pre-marital sex, as per the region's laws.
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