BANDA ACEH, Indonesia – Indonesia's deeply conservative Aceh province has publicly caned unmarried couples for showing affection in public and two women for prostitution.
The canings Friday are possibly the last to be carried out before large crowds in Aceh after the province's governor announced earlier this month that the punishments would be moved indoors.
The caning last year of two men for gay sex drew international attention to the province's increasingly harsh implementation of Shariah law and a wave of condemnation.
However, some residents of Aceh, the only province in Muslim-majority Indonesia to impose Shariah law, are protesting the indoor caning decision. They say it will reduce the deterrent effect.
The women accused of prostitution were caned 11 times each. The six people accused of flirtatious behavior received between 11 and 22 strokes.