Public Humiliation For Indonesian Lottery GamblersMarch 12, 2012 12:12 pm
Five Indonesian men got a taste of Sharia law after being caught gambling recently, and on Friday were publicly caned in front of hundreds of cheering locals.
Apparently, two of the men had been responsible for selling the lottery tickets, while the other three happened to be their hapless customers. Nevertheless, all the men were sentenced to six lashes of the cane a piece by the local court in Langsa city for breaking the gambling laws of the strict Indonesia’s Islamic Aceh province.
In Indonesia caning is often used more as a means of public humiliation rather than for causing physically injury. However, despite a huge turnout in the field where the public caning took place, it would seem the sentences were not all to the taste of those gathered as many were heard to call out; “Give him more, why just six?”
In addition, the men could probably consider themselves fortunate as Indonesian law permits those caught gambling to receive up to 10 years behind bars.
Other gambling stories which made the news over the last few years included 10 boys, aged between 12 and 16, spending 29 days in detention after being arrested at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport for playing a coin-tossing game for a Rp 1,000 (10 cents) a go.
Also in 2010, vegetable vendor, Suyud, spent a stint in prison after police arrested him for playing cards, and as his lawyer, Farhat Abbas, explained at the time:
“Suyud was caught during a card game. He bet just Rp 50,000 [$5.50]. He was jailed for four months and 10 days. His family was torn apart and he picked up a skin disease during imprisonment.”
The vast majority of Indonesia’s 240 million population practice a moderate form of Islam, but certain areas are becoming increasingly less tolerant. Following the latest caning incident in Aceh, Amnesty International condemned the punishment and urged the Indonesian government to repeal the law.