Two German tourists were detained by local authorities for wearing bathing suits while taking a swim at a beach in Lhokseumawe, Aceh.
University students Andre Brun and Dominika Czatskova were enjoying the beach of Ujung Blang, Lhokseumawe on April 12 when they were reported to the police by locals for wearing bathing shorts and a bikini. The locals complained to sharia police, the religious authority in Aceh whose main task is to enforce sharia rules in the province.
Brun and Czatskova were then taken for questioning as they were considered to have violated the religious rules that apply in Aceh. But the couple pleaded that they were innocent as they were unaware of the appliance of sharia law in the province, saying that they did not know they had done anything wrong. This eventually saved them from being legally processed.
As reported by BBC Indonesia, Head of Sharia police in Lhokseumawe, M Irsyadi, decided to release the couple. “The local government [in Lhokseumawe] is not taking this too seriously because it was unintentional. They did this because they were not aware [of the sharia law],” he told reporters.
Brun and Czatskova later made an apology statement to the people of Lhokseumawe before leaving the province on Thursday, April 14.