A group of Indonesian female cyclists have been forced to apologise for violating Islamic sharia laws by wearing ‘sexy’ clothes in a team photo.
The nine women were summoned by authorities in the conservative province of Banda Aceh after a photo circulated online.
The women were pictured in long-sleeved pink t-shirts and dark trousers, and most were not wearing headscarves under their helmets.
The picture enraged the mayor who ordered officers to track the group down, and made the women undergo religious counselling.
‘They have violated the Islamic sharia provisions in our province which forbid sexy clothing,’ Irwan, a spokesman at the provincial government said.
He said the women, as well as one man, were summoned to the office.
‘They have admitted their mistake, publicly apologised and said they would not do it again,’ Irwan said.
Aceh, on the western tip of Indonesia, is the only province that practises sharia law.
People in the area have been publicly flogged for selling alcohol, adultery and for engaging in gay sex.
An Acehnese law, known as Qanun 11/2002, requires Muslims to ‘dress modestly’, but does not explicitly require all to wear Muslim-approved attire, Vice reported.
Many Acehnese support canings in public, 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’.
He said the women were given counselling that they should dress modestly under Islamic teachings.
Local media showed video clips of the group apologising for their ‘regrettable’ act.