LGBTI people caught having sex in Indonesia’s Aceh province will be punished by 100 lashes of the cane from today.
Anal sex between men and ‘the rubbing of body parts between women for stimulation’ is outlawed in the western province under a Sharia bylaw that came into force on Friday (23 October), and applies to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
‘The law is to safeguard human dignity. It is to protect Aceh’s Muslims from committing immoral acts,’ provincial Sharia chief Syahrizal Abbas told AFP.
Aceh is the only part of the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country that is allowed to implement Sharia law.
The regulation was passed in 2014 and was decried by Human Rights Watch at the time as ‘a huge backward step.’
Just this month, two young women were arrested in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, for allegedly being a lesbian couple after they were seen sitting and hugging in a public space.
Gambling, drinking alcohol and fraternizing with the opposite sex outside of marriage are already punishable by public caning in the Aceh.
Canings are carried out with a thin rattan stick and can be substituted for a fine of up to 100 grams of gold or 100 months in jail.
Gay sex is not a crime in the rest of Indonesia.