Indonesian Man Convicted of Child Rape Whipped Nearly 150 Times

Human rights organizations want the practice of flogging in Aceh to stop no matter the crime.
November 27, 2020, 10:35am
Indonesia, caning
A man is publicly flogged by a member of the Sharia police after he was found guilty of raping a child, in Idi Rayeuk, East Aceh on Nov. 26, 2020.  Photo: Cekmad / AFP

An Indonesian man convicted in a child rape case was whipped 146 times in the conservative province of Aceh, a punishment that had to be carried out in stages after he begged officials to stop and was treated by attending doctors.

Photos showed the teenager crying in pain as a masked officer whipped his back with a rattan stick on Thursday in what appeared to be a compound. The 19-year-old, identified as Roni, was arrested earlier this year on charges of raping a minor, according to Agence France-Presse. 

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Aceh is the only province in Muslim-majority Indonesia to enforce Sharia law and carry out canings as a form of punishment. The practice, which is highly controversial in Indonesia, has come under repeated criticism by local and international rights groups.

Ivan Nanjjar Alavi, an official from the East Aceh prosecutor’s office, told reporters that the larger than usual number of lashes was meant to deter similar crimes. But a representative for Amnesty International in Indonesia said the practice was cruel and may amount to torture.

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An Indonesian man collapsed in pain on Nov. 26 as he was flogged nearly 150 times for raping a child in conservative Aceh province, where whipping is a common punishment for violating Islamic law. Photo: Cekmad / AFP

“We believe in any punishment that does not contain inhuman and degrading treatment,”  Amnesty International Indonesia’s Nurina Savitri told VICE World News. “No one deserves to be brutalized and humiliated in this way.”

Citing a discussion among lawmakers in Indonesia’s parliament, she added that flogging did not deter sexual violence against women in Aceh, which has increased over the past decade. She also called for the country to bring laws in Aceh in line with international standards “and Indonesia’s human rights obligations under its own constitution.”