Aceh, which enjoys a special autonomy status, is the only province in Indonesia to adopt DARK AGES Islamic law
Seven men and six women were publicly caned in the front yard of the Al Ikhlas Mosque in Gampong Keuramat, Kuta Alam subdistrict of Banda Aceh on Monday for violating Aceh's Islamic bylaws.
Banda Aceh deputy mayor Zainal Arifin and hundreds of residents witnessed the public punishment, which was conducted at 11 a.m. despite the rain, albeit an hour later than scheduled.
The Antara news agency reported that the convicts were guilty of inappropriate acts, including khalwat (affectionate contact by an unmarried couple) and ikhtilat (intimacy or mixing) in violation of Islamic bylaws.
The 13 people received nine to 25 strikes each, depending on the severity of their misdeeds.
The caning of a 14th convict was delayed due to her pregnancy and is set to be carried out after she has given birth.
Deputy mayor Zainal asserted that the punishment was meant to teach people a lesson so that they would not violate Islamic law.
"Caning sentences have been enforced many times in the city of Banda Aceh. This proves that the government and the people of Banda Aceh are committed to implementing and enforcing the sharia," he said as reported by Antara.
Zainal called on the public to fully obey the sharia, saying that no one should violate Islamic law.