Two men have been publicly caned in the conservative Indonesian province of Aceh for having sex.
Aceh, in the north of the island of Sumatra, is the only region of Indonesia that imposes Islamic shariah law, reports the Associated Press.
The men were arrested in November after residents became suspicious and broke into their rented room where they were caught having sex, said Heru Triwijanarko, Aceh’s acting Sharia police chief.
A shariah court last month sentenced each man to 80 strokes, but they were caned 77 times after remission for time spent in prison.
Each received their punishment in front of a crowd in the capital Banda Aceh’s Tamansari city park.
The men, aged 27 and 29, were whipped across the back and winced with pain as a team of five enforcers wearing robes and hoods took turns, relieving one another after every 40 strokes.
The punishment was briefly halted and the men, both in their twenties, were allowed a drink of water before it continued, the BBC reports.
The mother of one man fainted at the sight of her son being whipped.
On the same day a woman and man were each given 20 lashes for being caught in close proximity to each other, and two men were given 40 lashes each for getting drunk.
Homosexuality is not illegal anywhere else in majority-Muslim Indonesia, but Aceh was granted the right to practise shariah law as part of a peace deal with the Indonesian government in 2006 to end a decades-long separatist war.
It’s the third time that Aceh has caned people for homosexuality since Islamic law was implemented in 2015 as a concession made by the government to end a long-running separatist rebellion.
At the time, political leaders promised the law would not affect religious minorities and would respect international human rights.
However, it has become an increasingly strict code and the shariah police have been accused of human rights violations and abuse of power.
Shariah code allows up to 100 lashes for morality offenses including gay sex. Caning is also the punishment for adultery, gambling, drinking and for men who skip Friday prayers and women who wear tight clothes.