West Sumatra mob strips woman and parades her in public as punishment for ‘obscene act’

Indonesian woman stripped to her bare chest and paraded on the streets of a village as punishment for getting intimate with a man. Photo: Video screengrab
Indonesian woman stripped to her bare chest and paraded on the streets of a village as punishment for getting intimate with a man. Photo: Video screengrab

Authorities in West Sumatra are investigating a video in which a woman was stripped and paraded by a mob in Pasaman regency this week.

Based on the widely circulating video, the woman was stripped to her bare chest and made to perform a walk of shame in front of a thrilled mob, which consisted of several children. As she was being paraded on the village streets, she tried to pull up her pants to cover up her breasts, but one man from the mob pulled them back down at one point.

According to reports, the woman was given a social punishment by villagers after she was caught getting intimate with a man, presumably out of wedlock. She had been caught with the man twice before.

West Sumatra Police said the incident occurred on Aug. 30.

“The woman in the video was busted by residents for committing an obscene act,” West Sumatra Police spokesman Stefanus Satake Bayu Setianto said.

Stefanus added that the video has been taken down from Youtube but may still be spreading through chat groups. He said the police are now investigating who filmed the video and may charge them with violations of the Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE).

The Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) condemned the public shaming and called on members of the mob to be criminally charged as well.

“The people who paraded her should be charged with performing an immoral act in public under the Criminal Code,” Komnas Perempuan commissioner Siti Aminah said today.

Moral vigilantes who publicly shame those they accuse of adultery, premarital sex, or other “immoral acts” (even if such acts were carried out with consent) in Indonesia often go unpunished. One notable exception to the rule was a case in 2018 in which a village chief and his accomplices were sentenced to lengthy prison terms for stripping and shaming a young couple who were wrongly accused of getting intimate out of wedlock.

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