Spank me, I’m a gambler

Three men convicted of gambling were publicly caned Friday under Islamic law in Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province.

The chief of the civil service police, Rusli, says the three were each given seven lashes outside a mosque after Friday prayers in Jantho, the capital of Aceh Besar district. Dozens of onlookers watched the beating, the third there this year in the devout Islamic province.

The men were questioned by police last month while playing dominos for money at a coffee shop. A fourth man who was also questioned failed to show up for the caning because of illness, said Rusli, who uses a single name.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation with 240 million people, has a policy of secularism but allows highly conservative Aceh province to implement a version of Sharia Islamic law.

The first two canings this year were in Langsa, the capital of East Aceh district, where five gamblers were flogged in March, followed by 10 men and a woman in April for gambling and immoral behaviour.