Indonesia: Men Flogged For Anti-Shariah Relationships

From Asia News:
Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Flogged because they had relationships contrary to sharia: One of the 14 punished by the authorities of the Indonesian province of Aceh – “a special territory” of the island of Sumatra where Islamic law is in force, is a young Buddhist man.

Last August 1, dozens of people were present when 11 people were taken to the square from a mosque in the center of Banda Aceh, the provincial capital. In the presence of Mayor Aminullah Usman, the executioner rained on the backs of the condemned between eight and 32 lashes with a cane (rattan). The authorities had surprised the six men and five women – all in late adolescence or twenties – having relations with people of the opposite sex.

Officials provided details only of the case of the only non-Muslim defendant, a Buddhist identified with the initials R.O. (photo). The police caught him inside a hotel room, with a woman who was not his wife. Usually, non-Muslims can choose whether to be punished or not under Islamic law, known in the region as Quanun. Therefore R.O. chose 27 lashes to avoid a lengthy judicial proceeding and imprisonment.

The next day, Mayor Usman warned hotels and businesses: “We have warned hotels not to even think about breaking the rules by renting rooms to unmarried couples. Otherwise, we will revoke their licenses,” he told reporters.

On 31 July, three people from Lhokseumawe (a village a few hours from Banda Aceh) were whipped 100 times each for having premarital sex. Among these was a 19-year-old who had relations with an under-age girl….

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