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Indonesia: Unmarried couples flogged for cuddling, holding hands or having sex

BY: www.dailymail.co.uk
Indonesia: Unmarried couples flogged for cuddling, holding hands or having sex
Five couples received between four and 22 strokes from a rattan cane outside a mosque in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, after serving several months in prison

Unmarried couples have been whipped today for breaking Sharia law in Indonesia after they were caught either cuddling, holding hands or having sex.

Five couples received between four and 22 strokes from a rattan cane outside a mosque in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, after serving several months in prison.

Religious police had caught them cuddling and holding hands or, in some cases, having sex outside marriage - a crime under the conservative Aceh region's Islamic law.

Five couples received between four and 22 strokes from a rattan cane outside a mosque in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, after serving several months in prison

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Hundreds of spectators, including children, watched and filmed as a masked sharia officer lashed the offenders who winced in pain.

'We hope in the future there will be no more cases like this - it's embarrassing,' said religious officer Safriadi, who goes by one name.

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Flogging is common for a range of offences in the region at the tip of Sumatra island, including gambling, drinking alcohol and having gay sex.

It is the only province in the world's biggest Muslim-majority country that imposes Islamic law.

In December, two men caught having sex with underage girls were whipped 100 times each in Aceh.

Rights groups have slammed public caning as cruel, and Indonesia's President Joko Widodo has called for it to end, but the practice has wide support among Aceh's population.