Aceh woman collapses after receiving 100 lashes for premarital sex

FILE PHOTO: An Acehnese woman gets caned by a religious officer, for spending time in close proximity with a man who is not her husband, which is against Sharia law, in Banda Aceh on February 27, 2017. Aceh is the only province in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country that imposes sharia law. People can face floggings for a range of offences — from gambling, to drinking alcohol, to gay sex. / AFP PHOTO / CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN
FILE PHOTO: An Acehnese woman gets caned by a religious officer, for spending time in close proximity with a man who is not her husband, which is against Sharia law, in Banda Aceh on February 27, 2017. Aceh is the only province in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country that imposes sharia law. People can face floggings for a range of offences — from gambling, to drinking alcohol, to gay sex. / AFP PHOTO / CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN

An Acehnese woman collapsed when she was flogged in public on Monday in the city of Lhokseumawe, as she was one of the latest to be punished for religious transgressions in the province.

The woman and her male lover were sentenced to 100 lashes each for engaging in premarital sex. The public flogging yesterday also saw three others subject to their punishment: one man was sentenced to 75 lashes for providing a venue for premarital sex while two other men were sentenced to 40 lashes for drinking alcoholic beverages.

The woman collapsed after receiving her punishment, which was carried out by enforcers from the province’s Wilayatul Hisbah (religious police), Satpol PP (the Public Order Agency), and witnessed by members of the public.

“[The woman] had to be carried away from the location because she fainted after receiving 100 lashes,” Lhokseumawe Satpol PP and Wilayatul Hisbah Chief Zulkifli said.

Zulkifli added that the woman eventually came to and was doing fine (aside from the pain from the flogging, presumably).

Flogging is a common punishment for a range of offenses in the deeply conservative Aceh (the only province with special autonomy to enforce sharia law), including adultery, drinking alcohol, and having gay or pre-marital sex.

Aceh officials in 2018 had said that authorities would put an end to flogging religious criminals in public and have them punished behind prison walls instead. However, the rule doesn’t seem to have taken effect as more public canings have taken place since.

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