Indonesian Couple Publicly Caned Under Sharia Law For Being 'Affectionate' Before Marriage

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
Muslim Couple.Muslim Couple.

Wahyudi Saputra, 23, and Nur Elita, 20, were publicly caned in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, on Dec. 28 for violating the region's interpretation of Sharia law, which forbids "affectionate contact by an unmarried couple." 

The university students were seen alone in a room together, UPI reported.

In 2003, the Aceh province was awarded special autonomy to practice a Sharia-based legal system, and it’s the only place in Indonesia with such a system.

The couple each received five lashes, and Elita was carried to an ambulance after she was caned.

Saptutra and Elita weren’t the only people punished that day in front of hundreds of cheering people. Four men were also caned for gambling, The Jakarta Post reported.

"Take these punishments as a lesson,” Banda Aceh Deputy Mayor Zainal Arifin told the crowd, according to UPI. "What has been done by these convicts should not be taken as an example. And I hope their canings in Meuraxa district today will be the last ever.

“And to the public: I ask that you do not isolate those who have been punished here today. Also, the convicted are reminded not to repeat their mistakes.”

Sources: The Jakarta Post, UPI / Photo credit: Moyan Brenn/Flickr