Human Rights Voices

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Indonesia, March 1, 2016

Indonesian woman publicly whipped for starting to date

Original source

Daily Mail

A teenage woman is forced to kneel submissively before a baying crowd as she prepares to receive her punishment of 50 lashes - because she had begun dating.

The 19-year-old woman was whipped in front of a large cheering crowd for her 'crime' in Indonesia's Aceh province.

She was accused of 'spending time alone' with a 21-year-old man, who was punished alongside her in Banda Aceh, the capital of the Sumatra province.

The couple were among 18 people lashed in public for breaking the province's strict implementation of Islamic Sharia law on Tuesday.

A hooded man meted out lashings with a rattan cane on a stage next to the mosque in Banda Aceh, with the teenager kneeling in front of him.

The girl and the man had been caught spending time alone together, which is against the law for unmarried Muslim couples in the province.

Public caning happens on a regular basis in Aceh, the only province in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country to implement Islamic sharia law, but is less common for women.

Aceh began implementing sharia law after being granted special autonomy in 2001, an effort by the central government in Jakarta to quell a long-running separatist insurgency.