The Indonesian province of Aceh has decided to close down the public space in which they publicly whip lawbreakers, in particular, people convicted of homosexuality.
It was in 2017 news of two gay men who were publicly flogged in front of a 1,000-strong crowd, made global headlines. The men aged in their early 20s were punished after they were filmed naked and detained by Islamic vigilantes.
Aceh is the only province in Indonesia that practices Sharia law. Sharia law was enforced after a peace deal with separatists was put in place in 2006. This has seen a rise in punishments for people convicted of gay and extra-marital sex.
The Provincial Government have ruled to move public floggings into closed spaces. The decision comes after the province has begun to feel the effects of international criticism with the move to help economic growth from investors in the area.
The ABC reports, under the new law it is forbidden to record people being caned with a rattan stick — crowds often film the spectacle on smartphones — and only journalists and adults can witness the punishment inside private prisons.
This has been met with criticism by people opposed to moving the public floggings inside away from the public area, who believe that the floggings serve as a lesson for perpetrators and work as a deterrent for future offenders.