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Jakarta Post

End caning in Aceh

  • Shaun Young

    Freelance writer and human rights advocate

Melbourne   /   Fri, October 27, 2017   /  08:01 am
End caning in Aceh Public domain?: A man is caned in public for engaging in same-sex relations in Banda Aceh. Two men received 85 lashes each after the Banda Aceh Sharia Court found them guilty of sodomy. (JP/Hotli Simanjuntak)

The girl’s face scrunches up in pain as the cane snaps down onto her spine, sending a loud crack throughout the mosque courtyard. The crowd of around 100 looks on fixated, some spectators look solemn, others look thoroughly entertained as the girl is caned again and again. A few in the crowd cheer, urging the algojo or “executioner,” to strike harder, others jeer when she cries out. Children no older than five years run around eating sweets and playing as if they were at a fairground. The girl’s crime is khalwat or being in close proximity to a member of the opposite sex that is not a member of her family. Her punishment is to be publicly caned on a stage multiple times by a man in a hooded black robe. This punishment reminiscent of the Middle Ages is taking part not in Saudi Arabia or an Islamic State-controlled part of Iraq, but in Indonesia’s wes...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.