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Cheering crowd: "flog them harder."

Indonesian gay couple flogged 80 times

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Anya Crittendon reports for Gay Star News that authorities flogged a gay couple more than 80 times each in Indonesia’s conservative province Aceh on July 13.

According to a report by ABS-CBN News, the men were part of a group of 15 who were flogged in front of a vocal crowd.

Authorities reportedly punished them for having gay sex. Islamic law in the province outlaws such acts. Aceh is the only Indonesian province to enforce such Islamic law.

ABS-CBN’s reporter Agence France-Presse noted the crowd grew to about 1,000 people. They were vocal during the floggings, shouting things like: ‘Flog them harder.’

‘Hopefully the flogging we’re witnessing today will serve as a lesson for people not to violate sharia (Islamic law),’ said Banda Aceh official Tarmizi Yahya.

Other people faced flogging for crimes such as drinking and selling alcohol, and showing affection in public.

Policy reversal

Last year, two men were publicly flogged 82 times for homosexuality and having gay sex.

In the face of international outcry and condemnation, Aceh decided to make future floggings and canings a private affair. Today’s demonstration, however, proves they are not sticking to that policy.

Most parts of Indonesia do not criminalize private, consensual homosexual acts. Though the country at large has no laws protecting LGBTI people from discrimination or hate crimes.

Same-sex couples in the country also do not receive protections or benefits.