A Sharia court in Indonesia’s Aceh province on Wednesday sentenced two men to be caned in public for having gay sex. The semi-autonomous province of Aceh is the only area in Muslim-majority Indonesia where gay sex is illegal and Sharia law is in force. This is the first conviction of its kind, BBC reported.
Vigilantes accosted the two men, aged 20 and 23, when they were in bed, beat them and recorded the assault on camera. “So you don’t like women? Not interested in them anymore?” The New York Times quoted Shariah police chief investigator, Marzuki Ali, as saying.
Their sentence, 85 lashes each, will be carried out next week, officials said. The maximum punishment for violation of the strict Islamic law is 100 lashes. The province’s law provides a punishment of public caning for deemed offences like gambling and drinking alcohol. Aceh, however, has been observed to have become increasingly conservative in the recent years. Its administration passed regressive laws against homosexuality in 2014.
The sentence coincided with the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Meanwhile, Lebanon hosted the Arab world’s first gay pride week in Beirut with quite a few complications, Reuters reported.