Anna Verdon – A woman and her partner were publicly whipped for getting "too close" to each other just days before their wedding. The shocking public punishment took place in Aceh, Indonesia.
Closeness is seen as a step towards pre-martial sex which is against Sharia Law and as a result the couple each received 20 lashes, in front of gathering crowds.
The pair were among a group which were brought forward for public punishment on a makeshift stage outside a mosque on Friday.
An Indonesian Christian was also whipped for selling alcohol in the conservative province of Aceh. Islamic law also forbids selling and consuming alcohol and Jono Simbolon was arrested in October and sentenced to 36 lashings.
As a masked officer whipped his back with a rattan stick the man could be seen grimacing in pain in front of the jeering crowd. After 10 of the lashings a doctor was brought in to check on Simbolon – but he gave the go-ahead for the whipping to continue.
Simbolon is the third non-Muslim to endure a public whipping since Aceh began implementing Islamic law in 2001 – the only province in Indonesia to do so.
Banda Aceh mayor Aminullah Usman said: "This is our government's commitment to enforcing Islamic law. "If there is a violation immediately report it to the Sharia police and we will carry out a punishment like today's caning."
About 98% of Aceh's five million residents are Muslims and are subject to the Sharia law. People are flogged for a range of offences including gambling, drinking alcohol, gay sex or any sexual relationship outside of marriage.