Two Indonesian Christians were publicly whipped on Tuesday for gambling in the the country’s conservative Aceh province.
The instance marks a disturbing trend of non-Muslims being punished under Islamic Sharia law in Indonesia. The two Christians, a man and woman, were caned at least six times in the presence of hundreds of jeering onlookers.
The two were accused of playing a game at a children’s entertainment complex that allows players to exchange tokens for prizes or cash.
Another couple received two dozen whips for showing affection in public while another man got 19 lashes.
Police said they were playing a game at a children’s entertainment complex that lets users exchange coins for prizes or vouchers, including cash. They were beaten with a rattan stick, while another man involved with them got 19 lashes.
Under Sharia law, gambling is prohibited, as are the consumption of alcohol, adultery, and homosexuality. Each carries a strict penalty.
Aceh province, located on the northern tip of Sumatra island, is one of Indonesia’s most conservative areas with a predominant Muslim population. The province has imposed strict Sharia law as Indonesia struggles to control the spread of a hardline version of Islam associated with the Middle East from politicizing the region.
In 2016, a 60-year-old Christian woman was caned 30 times for selling alcohol, also in Aceh province.