Gay sex in Indonesia will not be publicly punished with lashings anymore – but men will still receive the punishment behind closed doors.
getty image : Pink news
Aceh, the only region of the secular country where Shariah law is in effect, will continue to conduct the barbaric practice, which saw two men caned 83 times last year for consensual sex.
Earlier this month, a gay man and transgender woman were arrested for ‘having gay sex,’ and face a similar punishment.
Two university students are also being detained before going on trial for having gay sex in Aceh.
Getty image : Pink News
The 21 and 24-year-old were arrested on Thursday after vigilantes forced their way into a room where the men were allegedly having sex.
Marzuki, head of the Aceh Provincial Sharia Law Department, told local reporters that one of the men had ‘confessed’ to the charges after residents handed over mobiles, condoms and a mattress as evidence.
The province was able to institute Shariah law after the government made the concession as part of a 2005 autonomy deal.
The agreement was created to end a bloody decades-long conflict between Muslim separatists and the military in which thousands died.
The current law allows for up to 100 lashes for ‘morality offences’.
Journalists and adults will still be able to watch the canings, which will take place behind prison walls, according to AFP.
Andreas Harsono, Human Rights Watch’s Indonesia researcher, has said that the lashings mean “Aceh is leading the race to the bottom”.
And Aceh’s governor, Irwandi Yusuf, was clear in saying that the move had been taken to reduce criticism from foreign countries who object to inhumane punishments.
However, he blamed any opposition to the canings on anti-Islam sentiment.
“This (law) is to muffle protest… to muffle Islamophobia,” said the governor.
“We don’t want Islamophobia to interfere with (Indonesia’s) foreign affairs.”
As the new law was passed, a demonstration was held outside the region’s government building – against holding the lashings away from the public.
source : Pink news