Aceh Public Canings

Feb 15th, 2006, in News, by

A public caning in Aceh.

The first time that public canings were carried out in the Indonesian province of Aceh was a cause of much press comment but clearly the novelty of it has worn off. The latest canings, of six people, for gambling offences, were reported in the English press only by Xinhua as far as I can tell.

Aceh Caning

This time, on Sunday the 13th of February, five out of seven people, three men and four women, who had been found playing a gambling game in a refugee camp, were each given six strokes of the cane in accordance with the Sharia law No. 13. Of the remaining two, one, a man thought to be the leader of the gambling ring, was given nine strokes, and another, a 16 year-old girl, who was in tears, was deemed too young for the punishment and was handed over to her father.

The canings were carried out on the grounds of the Grand Mosque in the town of Lhokseumawe. A large crowd, composed of people from all walks of life and including children, which had begun gathering three hours before the big event, witnessed the thing and were said to have enthusiastically counted out the strokes. Others screamed out and some were heard to recite verses from the Koran. Some of them climbed trees to get a better view. A video of the proceedings can be viewed at

The man who received nine strokes did not seem to take the matter too seriously as he waved and smiled at the crowd upon ascending the podium where the punishment was carried out. The official who delivered the canings was robed in a dark brown outfit that covered his entire body, with only slits for his eyes.

A. Murad, the head of the local sharia court, said that this was the first time such a punishment had been done in Lhokseumawe and was evidence of the Aceh government’s determination to implement Islamic law fully, and “kita tidak main-main dalam hal in”, or, wer’e not playing around with this.

The process of the penetration of Islam in the former Dutch East Indies is one of gradual tightening in the application of the original precepts of the faith. Aceh was the first part of what is today Indonesia to come under the influence of Islam. It can be wondered if what is seen now in Aceh is the future for all of Indonesia.

7 Comments on “Aceh Public Canings”

  1. Felis says:

    It doesn’t look too good to me Patung.
    How is this connected to the official law?

    How does the government respond to this dual legal system?
    I assume it is NOT officially recognized by the government.

  2. David says:

    Well it is, it’s legal, Aceh has “special” status. Aceh is meant to be the only place that can pass religious-based laws, but others are doing it, like in Padang, and the central goverrnment may be going to do something about it.

  3. John S. Richardson says:

    Shows the sub-humans Islamic inhabitants of Indonesia. This is not a religion, but an epidemic called Islam, followers of made-believe gods and a pedophile “prophet”. Islam is no more than a cult of death that must be extirpated from the planet if the world is to survive.

  4. Peter says:

    I think public caning should be used more widely after seeing a caning it would sure put you off doing wrong

  5. brian says:

    Sounds to me that the U.S.A. ought to have something like that. I really believe petty crime like stealing, vandalizing..would not likely happen again to the same person, knowing that’s what happens if he or her ever done it again.

  6. John W says:

    Peter Says:

    January 1st, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    I think public caning should be used more widely after seeing a caning it would sure put you off doing wrong

    Go ahead and volunteer then, you probably screamed about waterboarding though didn’t you.
    There is caning and beating, don’t you know the difference?

  7. ken says:

    Such a waste, It should be done to the bare ass, so the person gets the real feel of each stroke. The way it’s done in Pakistan. I would love to watch them get it.

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