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Aceh Gamblers Caned in Public

4 July 2005

ACEH, Indonesia -- As reported by the BBC: "The Indonesian province of Aceh has held its first public caning, under the region's special Islamic laws. Fifteen people were caned for gambling offences outside a mosque in the town of Bireuen on Friday.

"Aceh implemented partial Sharia law in 2001, as part of an autonomy deal offered by the Jakarta government.

"The province has a higher proportion of Muslims than other areas of Indonesia, and many Acehnese practice a stricter version of Islam.

"The 15 men were flogged with a rattan cane on a specially-constructed stage in front of the Grand Mosque following midday prayers on Friday..."

"...According to a BBC reporter in Bireuen, Maskur Abdullah, crowds of people, including children, watched the proceedings - cheering and booing as the culprits were brought onto the stage to receive their punishments.

"...The people of Aceh are banned from gambling, adultery and drinking alcohol, and both men and women are expected to dress modestly..."

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