The Indonesian government must end the use of caning as a form of
punishment and repeal the laws that allow it in Aceh province, Amnesty International said today after at least 21 people were publicly caned since 12 May.
In Langsa city, 14 men were caned outside the Darul Falah mosque on 19 May, following the caning of seven men a week earlier.
All 21 were found to have violated an Aceh bylaw (qanun) prohibiting gambling and were given six lashes each as hundreds of people looked on.
“It seems that Aceh’s authorities are increasingly resorting to public caning in violation of international law,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director.
“Victims of caning experience pain, fear and humiliation, and caning can cause long-term or permanent injuries. The Indonesian government must act to stop these punishments, which constitute cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment and often amount to torture.”
According to media reports, at least 16 men and women were also caned in Aceh in 2010.