In an unprecedented application of Sharia law, a 60-year-old Christian woman in Aceh, Indonesia, has been caned in front of a crowd of hundreds for selling alcohol.
Though Aceh is the only province in Indonesia where Sharia law, the strict religious laws that govern Muslim behavior — including the prohibition of alcohol consumption — is enforced, those rules are not meant to apply to non-Muslims.
In Aceh, corporal punishment such as caning is publicly imposed on those who drink alcohol, are convicted of homosexuality or adultery, and others who violate Sharia law. Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.
According to the Independent, a special bylaw that came into effect last year allows the region to apply Sharia law to non-Muslims in certain situations. The woman was whipped nearly 30 times with a cane, while a Muslim couple accused of adultery received 100 lashes during the same public caning.
“This is the first case of a non-Muslim being punished under Islamic criminal bylaw,” an official from the Aceh prosecutor’s office told the Agence France-Presse (AFP).