Gay couple publicly flogged for having sex in Indonesia

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A gay couple were publicly flogged in the Aceh province of Indonesia, the only part of the country that criminalizes homosexuality and lives following the Sharia law. The two men were flogged 80 times for having gay sex, which was consensual. It means that the men, both in early twenties, were the first people to be publicly punished for the consensual sex act in the country. The province officials pledged to stop public demonstrations of the practice after another case of public flogging caused an international resonance, but they did not keep this word. According to AFP, the two men were the second gay couple to endure the punishment this year. Public flogging is a common occurrence in the region, it is used not only for gay men but also for gamblers and alcoholics. Human Rights Watch then called for Aceh to abandon Sharia law and for Indonesia’s President Jokowi Widodo to condemn the practice. “The clock is ticking for Jokowi to demonstrate that his support of equal rights for all is not empty rhetoric. He needs to start by protecting these two young men from torture,” said Human Rights Watch’s deputy Asia director, “Jokowi needs to be clear to Aceh’s authorities that flogging is torture for which they will be held to account,” he added.

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