Mukhlis is part of the Aceh Ulema Council (MPU), the religious body that advises the local government, and helped to write its anti-adultery law, along with others like it that ban gambling and same-sex relations.
“This is God’s law,” Husaini Wahab, deputy mayor of the district where Mukhlis lives, told BBC News. “Anyone must be flogged if proven guilty, even if he is a member of the MPU.”
So Mukhlis was flogged. On Oct. 31, he was publicly flogged 28 times. The woman he allegedly had an affair with was caned 23 times.
Husaini told the BBC that Mukhlis would also be kicked off the council.
Human rights groups have previously called for the repeal of Aceh’s public floggings and canings.
In other Muslim-majority countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei and Somalia, adultery is also criminalized. In Saudi Arabia it can be punishable by death.