Crowd Jeers as Two Men are Caned 83 Times for Gay Sex in Indonesia: VIDEO

gay sex Indonesia

Authorities in the Aceh province in Indonesia, the only to practice Sharia law, caned two gay men 83 times in a public square. The two men, both in their 20s, were caught last month by a group of vigilantes who entered the boarding house where they were staying.

RELATED: Two Gay Men Caught Having Sex Face 100 Lashes with a Cane in Indonesia: VIDEO

It is the first time the province has carried out a punishment for homosexuality.

The AP reports:

More than a thousand people packed the courtyard of a mosque to witness the caning, which was the first time that Aceh, the only province in Indonesia to practice Shariah law, has caned people for homosexuality.

The crowd shouted insults and cheered as the men, aged 20 and 23, were whipped across the back and winced with pain. Many in the crush of spectators filmed the caning with cellphones as a team of five robed and hooded enforcers took turns to inflict the punishment, relieving one another after every 20 strokes for one of the men and 40 for the other.

Sarojini Mutia Irfan, a female university student who witnessed the caning, said it was a necessary deterrent.

“What they have done is like a virus that can harm people’s morale,” she said. “This kind of public punishment is an attempt to stop the spread of the virus to other communities in Aceh.”

Video of the caning (warning: disturbing):

Human Rights Watch had called for the men to be released:

“The arrest and detention of these two men underscores the abuse imbedded in Aceh’s discriminatory, anti-LGBT ordinances,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia division director at Human Right Watch. “These men had their privacy invaded in a frightening and humiliating manner and now face public torture for the ‘crime’ of their alleged sexual orientation.”

Cell phone video footage of the raid, apparently shot by one of the vigilantes and circulating on social media, shows one of the two men visibly distressed as he calls for help on his cellphone. “Please brother, please stop,” one of the men says in the video. “My parents want to talk to you, they can pick me up.” Aceh’s Sharia ordinances empower members of the public as well as the special Sharia police to publicly identify and detain anyone suspected of violating its rules.

Aceh’s codes have worsened over the past 10 years says HRW:

Over the past decade, Aceh’s parliament has gradually adopted Sharia-inspired ordinances that criminalize non-hijab-wearing women, drinking alcohol, gambling, and extramarital sexual relations, all of which can be enforced against non-Muslims. Aceh’s LGBT population is also vulnerable to Aceh’s 2014 Criminal Code that bars liwath (sodomy) and musahabah (lesbian sexual action). Aceh province imposed the Sharia punishment of multiple lashes of a cane against 339 people in 2016.

Anti-LGBT incidents across Indonesia have significantly increased since January 2016 and included police raids on suspected gatherings of gay men, attacks on LGBT activists, and vitriolic anti-LGBT rhetoric from officials and politicians. In October, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo broke his long silence on escalating anti-LGBT rhetoric by defending the rights of the country’s LGBT community. He declared that “the police must act” against actions by bigoted groups or individuals to harm LGBT people or deny them their rights, and that “there should be no discrimination against anyone.” However, Jokowi has not backed up that statement with action.

“President Jokowi should urgently intervene is this case to demonstrate his stated commitment to ending discrimination against LGBT people,” Kine said.  “Jokowi then needs to act to eliminate Aceh’s discriminatory ordinances so these outrageous arrests don’t happen again.”

The post Crowd Jeers as Two Men are Caned 83 Times for Gay Sex in Indonesia: VIDEO appeared first on Towleroad.

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