Indonesian Men Forced To Do Press Ups For Not Wearing A Mask
The unusual punishment has been described as 'degrading' by a human rights group, but is just one of the strange things that courts in the South Asian country have been forcing people to do if they violate the rules.
Some have been made to dig graves, others have been sent to clean riverbanks and pull up weeds. One was reportedly even made to lie in an open coffin.
It's pretty odd, that's for certain.
Indonesia needs to take the coronavirus crisis seriously, as the country currently has the highest death toll in their region with more than 10,000 deaths and 271,000 confirmed cases as of this Saturday, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.
However, human rights activists really don't think that this is the way to go about punishing people for falling afoul of the laws.
Rivanlee Anandar, from the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence, told VOA Indonesia that police officers and members of the country's military are being used improperly to oversee these punishments.
He said: "The military should focus on national defence. There [are] no indicators or instruments to measure the effectiveness of involving the military in handling the pandemic.
"Their role in picking up people who have tested positive [for] Covid-19 is too much. In several malls, they even take people's temperature."
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One woman who was found not wearing a mask in her car was told that she could either clean the sewers or pay a fine after she was pulled over.
Evani Jesselyn said: "I was alone, in the car, wearing my mask. However, suddenly I felt it was a bit hard to breathe, so I pulled my mask a bit to breathe some fresh air."
She was then taken immediately from being pulled over to a court where she waited for an hour in a crowded room to see a judge.
Jesselyn explained: "I was scared to jump into the crowd, and quite upset as well because I was alone inside the car and healthy and they asked me to go to the crowd with no social distancing."
Eventually, she was given a fine.
M. Hendra Suhartiyono, a spokesperson for the police, said that the force had been drafted in to help out the regional governments in their efforts to get the virus under control.
He went on to argue that sanctions, including the public service punishments, are ideas that come from the regional governments.
He said: "We have to uphold local wisdom."
Featured Image Credit: Binsar Bakkara/AP/Shutterstock
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