An Indonesian woman was flogged 100 times for adultery, while the man she had the affair with received 15 lashes after denying the accusations

A woman flogged by a member of the Sharia police in Blangpidie.
The woman confessed to having extramarital sex, while the man had a reduced sentence because he denied the accusations and appealed to the Sharia Supreme Court. Mimi Saputra/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • An Indonesian woman was whipped 100 times for adultery, while the man she had an affair with  received 15 lashes, AFP reported.
  • Public flogging is a common punishment for certain victimless crimes in Aceh province.
  • Human Rights Watch has condemned the practice as “barbaric” and called for it to end.

On Thursday, an Indonesian woman who confessed to engaging in extramarital sex was publicly flogged 100 times in Aceh province. Meanwhile, AFP reported that her male partner, who denied the adultery allegations, was whipped only 15 times.

The couple were caught in 2018 at a palm oil plantation and brought before Aceh’s Islamic court, per the outlet. 

The man is married and heads the East Aceh fishing agency, AFP reported, citing the head of the general investigation division at the East Aceh prosecutors’ office.

The judges couldn’t find the accused man guilty of adultery because he denied the charges, the prosecutor said, so they pinned him instead for “showing affection to a female partner who is not his wife.” They sentenced him to be flogged 30 times, but the Sharia Supreme Court reduced his punishment to 15 lashes in an appeal.

According to an AFP reporter at the scene on Thursday, the woman’s flogging was paused because she couldn’t bear the pain.

Aceh is the only province in Indonesia that enforces Islamic law as part of an agreement that gives the region special autonomy from the rest of the nation. It permits flogging as a punishment for offenses of drinking alcohol, gambling, same-sex sexual relations, and adultery. 

Human Rights Watch has condemned the practice as “barbaric punishments” for victimless crimes. And since 2017, Indonesian President Joko Widodo has called for the Aceh government to cease using the punishment.

The punishment of 100 lashes is common in Aceh for women found guilty of adultery. In October 2021, a 19-year-old girl was flogged 100 times for having sex with an 18-year-old who wasn’t her husband. She fainted after the whipping and had to receive treatment from officers on-site, according to local outlet

In November that year, a female civil servant and the married man she was found guilty of having an affair with were both given 100 lashes. Her whipping also had to be temporarily stopped because she could not withstand the pain, reported.