THE crowd jeered as Indonesian Christian Jono Simbolon was caned for selling alcohol in the conservative Aceh province last Friday.
Simbolon was sentenced to 36 lashes last October for selling bootleg alcohol, a violation of both Indonesia’s secular and Aceh’s religious laws, the AFP reported. “This is our government’s commitment to enforcing Islamic law,” said Banda Aceh mayor Aminullah Usman.
“If there is a violation (of the law) immediately report it to the Syariah police and we will carry out a punishment like today’s caning,” he said, referring to religious authorities.
In 2014, Aceh enacted a strict Islamic criminal code that criminalises adultery, homosexuality and public displays of affection outside marriage, according to Reuters.
An Indonesian Christian whipped for selling alcohol under Islamic law.
Jono Simbolon grimaced in pain when a masked religious officer lashed his back with a rattan stick on a makeshift stage outside a mosque in the provincial capital Banda Aceh.https://t.co/kJStOK7fDT pic.twitter.com/LhtJTq4hO1
— Ashraf Sherjan (@ASJBaloch) January 19, 2018
The conservative province had begun implementing Islamic law after being granted special autonomy in 2001, making it the only province in the Muslim-dominated country to adhere to sharia law.
More than 500 public floggings have taken place in the province since then, human rights monitor Human Rights Watch said last October. Punishments were mainly for what it called “victimless crimes” such as non-marital kissing and sexual relations, as well as gambling.