Two Australians have been arrested after public misconduct in Indonesia. A tourist from Noosa in eastern Australia is being held in Aceh province. According to media reports, he rioted on the island of Simeulue off Sumatra, which is known as a surfer's paradise, injuring a local resident. According to local police, he ran out of his accommodation, naked and drunk, and attacked passers-by.
In the most populous Muslim country in the world, Aceh is probably the most conservative province. As the only Indonesian region, the Islamic jurisdiction of the Sharia is applied there. Alcohol is forbidden for both Muslims and non-Muslims. In an Internet video, the 23-year-old explains that he felt "almost obsessed" - he never behaves like this before. He only had one shot of vodka, but also sunstroke from surfing a lot.
According to Sharia law, he could face 40 lashes for drinking alcohol. However, according to ABC News, the Australian can choose whether Islamic or secular law should be exercised. Depending on the severity of the injury suffered by the resident, a prison sentence of up to five years is also possible. According to the police, he will remain in custody while the investigation is ongoing. The 23-year-old's family released a statement on his behalf on Sunday: "He is very ashamed and wants to apologize to the Indonesians for not respecting their culture and laws," the statement said, according to ABC News.
Indonesia's law enforcement also caught up with another Australian over the weekend before he could catch his flight home. Police officers arrested the man on Saturday at Jakarta's Soekarno Hatta Airport, according to the "Kompas.com" portal. He is accused of spitting in the face of the imam of a mosque in the city of Bandung. According to police, surveillance cameras at the church recorded the crime and him as a suspect. According to the police, inappropriate behavior and insults are punishable by up to one year or four months in prison.
For Australians, Indonesia has always been a popular holiday destination not far away. However, tourist party spirit and freedom of movement repeatedly come into conflict with Indonesia's strict laws regarding drug consumption or appropriate behavior and have led to harsh penalties.