Indonesian pair sentenced to 85 lashes for gay sex after historic ruling 2 years ago

Indonesian pair sentenced to 85 lashes for gay sex after historic ruling

Disgraceful.

A court in Indonesia has sentenced two men to be publicly caned for having sex - with both men receiving 85 lashes each.

The men aged 20 and 23, who have not been identified, were found guilty by a Sharia court in the Aceh province after violating strict Islamic laws after they were found in bed together by vigilantes in March.

Aceh is the only province where Sharia is in force and this is its first such conviction. Gay sex is not illegal in the rest of Muslim-majority Indonesia

Public caning sentences have previously only been given for gambling and drinking alcohol but Aceh has become increasingly more conservative in recent years.

Aceh was granted special rights to introduce its own stricter Islamic laws more than a decade ago, one of which was laws against homosexuality passed in 2014.

The lashing is due to take place next week and while the judge did not give the maximum punishment of 100 lashes, the sentence is five lashes more than asked for by prosecution.

The harsh judgment has been condemned by human rights groups and activists all over the world with Dede Oetomo, a campaigner for LGBT rights in Indonesia, saying "I see this as a criminalisation, a step back for Indonesia and violation of human rights."

Group's in the neighbourhood filmed themselves kicking and beating the pair and the video was shared widely in Indonesia. Rights groups say anti-gay sentiment is growing in the country.

Both men hid their faces during and after the sentencing.