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Jakarta Post

Activists condemn sentence of caning for gay couple in Aceh

Activists condemn sentence of caning for gay couple in Aceh MH, 24, and MH, 20, are escorted by the police as they leave the Banda Aceh Sharia Court. (JP/Hotli Simanjuntak)
News Desk (The Jakarta Post)
Jakarta   ●   Thu, May 18, 2017 2017-05-18 12:52 1460 4065a5a8898c7cc661d4adf97a169288 1 National homosexual,aceh,sharia,HumanRights Free

The Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) has condemned the decision of a sharia court in Banda Aceh to sentence a 24-year-old man from Langkat, North Sumatra, and a 20-year-old man from Bireun Regency, Aceh, to 85 lashes for engaging in a homosexual relationship.

The two men, identified only by their initials MT and MH, were found guilty of violating Qanun Jinayat, the province’s Islamic penal code.

In a statement released on Thursday, the ICJR said the law was unfair because it stigmatized Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people.

"This law violates privacy rights. It also triggers homophobia in society," the group said.

The sentence of caning, ICJR commented, had no legal basis as Indonesia did not recognize corporal punishment.

"Caning is inhumane and demeaning,” the group said.

They further argued that Qanun Jinayat was problematic as a majority of people charged with the sharia articles were not represented by lawyers. (ary/rdi)