justice officials said a gay couple was flogged in Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province on Thursday in a public display lambasted by human rights groups.

The two men were thrashed nearly 80 times each for having gay sex, which is forbidden in Aceh province under local Islamic law.

The couple, who were not identified, gasped in pain and pleaded for the flogging to stop, as a covered sharia officer beat their backs with a rattan stick.

The punishment was briefly stopped and the men, both in their twenties, were allowed to drink water before it continued.

The mother of one man fainted at the sight of her son being flogged.

Public order official Heru Triwijanarko “Islamic sharia enforcement is final, no matter who it is, and even visitors must respect local norms,”.

NEWSNAIJA learned that the men were arrested in November at a rental home where a landlord found them half-naked in their room.

NEWSNAIJA GATHERED  that Gay sex is prohibited elsewhere in Indonesia and Aceh is the only region in the world’s biggest Muslim nation that imposes Sharia law.

In Aceh, on the northern tip of Sumatra Island, public whipping is a common punishment for a range of offenses that include gambling, drinking alcohol, and adultery.