An Indonesian couple, aged about 30, were punished by villagers with buckets of sewage after they were alleged to have had extramarital sex.

The man and the woman, identified as TSF and DK, were accused by villagers in the city of Langsa in Aceh province of having sex without a “nikah siri”, a religious marriage certificate, BenarNews reported.

The man is reportedly the head of Langsa’s Regional Development Planning Board while the woman is his subordinate.

Citing evidence from neighbors, Ibrahim Latif, the local Islamic Sharia Agency head, told reporters that TSF “often visited DK’s house”.

The villagers suspected that the couple could have been engaging in immoral acts. They interrogated the couple, whose responses were said to be inconsistent.

The accused man tried to calm the villagers by presenting them with a nikah siri certificate, but when the villagers doubted its validity, he agreed to settle the issue by donating a goat to the village. However, when the couple were about to hand over the goat, the villagers demanded a cow.

On July 28, they punished the couple by pouring sewage on them publicly.

Zulfikar Muhammad, executive director of the Human Rights NGO Coalition in Aceh, condemned the action of the villagers as an “arbitrary act”.

Aceh is the only province in Indonesia that imposes Sharia law. The province was granted special autonomy in 2001, following which the Islamic law came into force.