Unmarried couples were brutally whipped in public today after being caught cuddling, holding hands and having s*x.
Hardline clerics in Indonesia oversaw the sickening floggings of those deemed to have breached local religious laws.
Five couples received up to 22 strokes each outside a mosque in Banda Aceh – after already serving months inside prison.
Five couples received between four and 22 strokes from a rattan cane
The punishments were meted out by a masked ‘religious officer’ – in front of a crowd containing kids – using a rattan cane
Religious police had allegedly caught them cuddling , holding hands or, in some cases, having sex outside marriage.
All are deemed very serious crimes under the ultra-conservative Aceh region’s archaic Islamic laws.
It is the only province in Indonesia – which has the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country – that imposes the beatings.
This man was beaten for having ‘sexual relations’ outside of marriage
The head of the local public order agency said he hoped those publicly punished had learned their lesson.
Marwan said: “This law is designed to have a deterrent effect, not only for the offenders but for the spectators who watch the caning.
“The pain of being flogged is not that bad, the embarrassment is worse.”
Human rights groups have dubbed the public canings barbaric, while Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has called for them to stop.
But the practice – based on a strict regional interpretation of Sharia- has wide support among Aceh’s five million Muslims.
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