A married couple in Indonesia was sentenced to be caned this week for gambling at an entertainment center within the city of Aceh.
The couple was identified as Dahlan Sili Tongga and Tjia Nyuk Hwa, and are residents of the area. They were convicted of violating provincial laws by gambling, as Aceh operates under Sharia Law, which makes the activity forbidden. Muslims in the area are given strict punishments, with non-Muslims able to choose between corporal punishment or incarceration for crimes. Tongga and Hwa are non-Muslim and thus had a choice. They chose lashes, as each strike counts as one month in jail. They were each given seven lashes.
Also sentenced in the case was the owner of the premises where the gambling took place. He was given 22 lashes for allowing the activity to go down. In addition to the caning, police seized money from the site. An unmarried couple was also given 25 lashes each for affectionate contact.
The mayor of Aceh Aminullah Usman spoke about the caning, revealing: "This punishment shows our commitment [to implementing sharia]. We want to create a deterrent so that other people do not violate sharia. This is different to imprisonment, in which the public can't see [the convicts being punished]."