LHOKSEUMAWE - Four men were publicly flogged in a conservative Indonesian province on Tuesday under sharia law, after being convicted for engaging in sexual activity with minors.
The sentence was executed in front of the prosecutors' office in North Aceh with armed policemen guarding the event.
Wearing white robes and face masks, the kneeling men were struck by uniformed sharia officers with a rattan stick, causing them to grimace in pain.
Two offenders, aged 18 and 21, were each lashed 100 and 105 times for having sex with a minor, with the younger man sentenced to a further 10 months in prison.
A 25-year-old was struck 75 times for sexually molesting a child, while another man, 20, received 30 strokes for sexual harassment.
The 25 and 21-year-old had their lashes reduced for time served.
Despite the pandemic, dozens still came to watch from a distance—jeering and booing during the flogging.
"The North Aceh government will keep enforcing Islamic sharia even to the village level, so things like these will not happen again in our region," North Aceh deputy district head Fauzi Yusuf said.
Aceh, Indonesia's westernmost province at the tip of Sumatra island, is the only region in the Muslim-majority country to impose Islamic sharia law.
It allows flogging for offenses including prostitution, gambling, adultery, drinking alcohol and gay sex.
Rights groups have denounced public whipping as inhumane and called for the practice to end.
But the measure has wide support among Aceh's mostly Muslim population.