Indonesia’s Sharia police have a unique take on diversity that might seem odd to Western ears: its historic all-female flogging squad.
Banda Aceh Sharia police chief investigator Zakwan, who uses one name, told Agence France-Presse this week that he was thrilled with a new recruit’s lashing performance.
“I think she did a good job. Her technique was nice,” he said for an interview published Tuesday.
The piece by Haeril Halim detailed justice being meted out against an unmarried woman who was found in a hotel room with a man.
“The masked woman nervously approaches her target, shuffles into position and then unleashes a flurry of lashes — proving herself as the newest member of the first female flogging squad in Indonesia’s Aceh province,” the piece reads. “But despite her reticence, she persevered and delivered her first flogging.”
AFP noted that the city of roughly 220,000 has three shifts of Sharia police patrolling throughout the day.
Other crimes that may result in beatings with a a rattan cane include the following: adultery, drinking alcohol, having gay sex, and gambling.
“We train them to make sure they’re physically fit and teach them how to do a proper whipping,” Zakwan told AFP. “It’s kind of an indoctrination that we give to them so they have a better understanding of their role — have no mercy for those who violate God’s law.”
The news service noted that such laws — opposed by Indonesia’s president — were established in 2005 as part of an “autonomy deal with the central government that ended a decades-long separatist insurgency.”