Indonesian gay couple sentenced to caning

Shariah court in Indonesia sentences gay couple to caning

Still, the court's ruling was still more severe than the 80 lashes requested by the prosecutor.

'The verdict will increase fear among LGBT people not only in Aceh but also in many other, especially conservative provinces ... in Indonesia, ' said HRW's Andreas Harsono. Human Rights Watch said in April that public caning would constitute torture under global law.

Khairil Jamal, the lead judge, said that "the court has proven that the defendants without doubt are legally guilty of committing sodomy".

Aceh is the only Place in Indonesia where the Sharia Law is Implemented, There are Sharia Courts sentences people punishment who doesn't obey sharia law such as alcohol consumption, production and distribution, gambling, adultery, certain intimacies outside marriage, and certain homosexual acts.

The two men were arrested in late March when the group of neighborhood vigilantes, suspecting the pair of homosexuality, broke into one of the men's home.

Two years ago, Aceh expanded the Islamic criminal code by allowing up to 100 lashes for morality offences, including gay sex. Human Rights Watch said in April that public caning constitutes as torture under global law.

A young Indonesian man pleaded for leniency after he and another man were sentenced to be flogged for homosexuality by a Sharia court.

The maximum sentence for the crime is 100 lashes, but the court sentenced the men to 85 each after they apologized for their actions.

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Aceh has faced mounting criticism for its canings, with images of women collapsing as they are publicly flogged drawing criticism from rights groups.

Human Rights Watch called on Indonesia to release the men.

Aceh is the only province in Muslim-majority Indonesia that criminalises same-sex relations and that uses sharia as its legal code in addition to the national criminal code.

Indonesia's moderate reputation has been damaged in the past year due a surge in persecution of members in the LGBT community and attacks on religious minorities.

"It shows the increasingly conservative judiciary in Indonesia", he added.

Dede Oetomo, a veteran Indonesian gay rights campaigner, said that Acehnese activists were "all scared".

Over 300 people were reportedly caned for such offenses in 2016.

Cell phone video footage of the raid, apparently shot by one of the vigilantes and circulating on social media, shows one of the two men visibly distressed as he calls for help on his cellphone.

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