Indonesian court sentences two gay men to 85 lashes for having sex

A sharia court in Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province has sentenced two gay men to public caning for the first time.

The court on Wednesday said the men, aged 20 and 23, would each be subjected to 85 lashes for having sexual relations.

The couple were arrested in late March after neighborhood vigilantes in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, suspected them of being gay and set out to catch them having sex.

Aceh is the only province in Muslim-majority Indonesia to practice Islamic law, or sharia, which was a concession made by the national government in 2006 to end a years-long war with separatists. It implemented an expanded sharia code two years ago.

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