A Shariah court in Indonesia's conservative Aceh province has sentenced two gay men to public caning for the first time, further tarnishing the country's moderate image after a top Christian politician was imprisoned for blasphemy.
The court yesterday said the men, aged 20 and 23, would each be subjected to 85 lashes for having sexual relations. The chief prosecutor, Gulmaini, said they will be caned next week, before Ramadan starts on about May 25.
The couple was arrested after neighborhood vigilantes suspected them of being gay and broke into their rented room to catch them having sex.
International human rights groups have cited the men's treatment as abusive and sought their release.