Indonesian woman caned on public after she broke Sharia law by having sex outside wedlock

  • The terrified woman kneeled on a stage wearing a white hood while a masked official brandished the weapon
  • She was punished for breaking the arch-conservative Aceh region’s Sharia law by having sex outside wedlock
  • Spectators gathered and took pictures of the flogging, which can also be imposed for gambling or drinking 

These pictures show a woman being caned in front of delighted spectators as a punishment for having sex outside wedlock in Indonesia.

The terrified woman was seen kneeling on a stage, while an official holding a cane prepared to flog her and a crowd gathered to witness the Sharia law flogging.

The humiliating punishment was carried out in the country’s arch-conservative Aceh province, the only one which observes Sharia criminal law.

Public caning: A woman who broke Sharia law faces punishment by public whipping for having sexual relations outside of wedlock, as a masked official brandishes a weapon and prepares to hit the kneeling woman
Spectator event: Men standing near the stage take pictures of the public flogging on their phones as the kneeling woman is hit with the cane for breaking the Aceh region’s Sharia law
Memories: Men use their mobile phones to record the public caning of a woman accused of having sexual relations outside of wedlock in Banda Aceh, a city in the only Indonesian region which practises Sharia law

An official known as ‘algojo’ wore a masked hood and a robe to cover their face and body completely as they brandished the weapon in the city of Banda Aceh.

The woman kept her head down as she was escorted by two other women and prepared to face the punishment for having sex outside wedlock.

Many of the spectators close to the stage held up their mobile phones, apparently taking pictures or video footage of the act.

In another picture a man was seen grimacing near the executioner, wearing similar white clothes to the woman, but it is unclear if he too was being punished.

Flogging is common for a range of offences in the region at the tip of Sumatra island, including gambling, drinking alcohol and having gay sex.

Aceh adopted sharia after it was granted special autonomy in 2001, an attempt by the central government to quell a long-running separatist insurgency.

Brutal: An official known as an ‘algojo’, wearing a mask, hood and robe to cover their face and body completely, hits the kneeling woman on the back after she broke the region’s law by having sex outside wedlock
Hidden: The hooded guard brandishes their weapon as they carry out the public flogging. The most severe punishments in Indonesia’s Aceh province can see offenders caned up to 100 times
Grim task: The hooded guard prepares to carry out the punishment in Indonesia. A man is seen grimacing in front of him wearing similar white clothes to the woman who was punished

Rights groups slam public caning as cruel, and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has called for it to end.

But the practice has wide support among Aceh’s mostly Muslim population – around 98 per cent of its five million residents practise Islam.

A 100-stroke punishment is reserved for the most severe crimes and offenders may also be sentenced to prison time.

In 2018, Aceh said that flogging would be carried out behind prison walls in future, but some local governments have continued public whippings.

Last year a village in the province banned WiFi after children were caught viewing porn sites instead of going to Koran study class.

The same district made headlines last year when it banned men and women from dining together unless they were married or related.

Preparation: The flogging victim is escorted to her position by another woman, as the cane-wielding official looks on from the left and three other men watch on from the right
Terrified: The woman (centre) who was punished for breaking Sharia law keeps her head down as she is escorted in the grip of two female officials in Indonesia
Standing guard: A police officer holds a weapon during the public caning. The woman prisoner had been accused of having sexual relations outside of wedlock in Banda Aceh
Public: A mobile phone is held up in the crowd as spectators watch the public flogging from behind a barrier in Indonesia

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