Banda Aceh in Indonesia. Photo: iStock

A couple in Indonesia was publicly caned on Thursday in front of a cheering crowd after they were caught cuddling in public. The unidentified couple was taken to a public square in Banda Aceh where they were caned, the New York Post reported.

The girl, 18, was covered in a white hijab as she was taken to the platform. Her boyfriend, who was caned after the girl, was brought out wearing a white robe known as a “Jubba.”

It was not specified how many lashes they were given. Cuddling in public is a “moral crime” in Aceh, for which the usual punishment is 29 lashes.

Aceh is an autonomous province that is ruled by Sharia Law. Public caning was introduced as a form of punishment in 2005, with hundreds of people being caned since then. Apart from public displays of affection, people who break Islamic regulations are also punished.

An insurgency that lasted three decades led to Sharia Law being used to govern Aceh as part of a peace deal between the central government and the Aceh insurgents in 2005, making it one of the most religiously conservative regions in Asia.

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