Female cyclists in Indonesia apologise in public for ‘sexy’ attire


A group of women cyclists in Indonesia got on the wrong side of the Aceh’s Sharia law for wearing long-sleeved, pink t-shirts and dark trousers deemed “sexy” by officials of the province.

They were summoned by the police after a picture of the group went viral on social media and were forced to apologise publicly.

Most of the women were pictured without an Islamic headscarf under their cycling helmets.

“They have violated the Islamic sharia provisions in our province which forbid sexy clothing,” Irwan, a spokesman at the provincial government, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Aceh.

“We summoned them to the office and asked them why they did that. They have admitted their mistake, publicly apologised and said they would not do it again,” the spokesman said.

Aceh, on the western tip of Indonesia, is the only province that practises sharia law, and people have been publicly flogged for selling alcohol, adultery and gay sex.

Many Acehnese support public canings, while local religious police and vigilantes often raid homes and workplaces to detain people on suspicion of criminal behaviour, according to human rights groups.

The government spokesman said the cyclists were allowed to go home after they apologised “voluntarily” on Monday and were given counselling that women should dress modestly under Islamic teachings.

Local media showed video clips of the group apologising for their “regrettable” act. (Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation)