Australian tourists in Indonesia were caught stealing bicycles from the tourist hot spot and were forced to do the traditional tourist walk of shame as stipulated in the laws of the village.
Indonesia is one of the most conservative and strict countries in the world today.
As a punitive measure the tourist may be classified as lucky considering that some areas in the country still run on the precepts of the Sharia Law. In some Sharia-friendly places, they could have lost their arms.
According to International Business Times, the unnamed man and woman who are Australia nationals were spotted on CCTV stealing two bicycles from the tourist hot spot.
For their punishment, which is somewhat lenient though humiliating, the tourists wore cardboards on which was conspicuously written, “I AM THIEVE DON’T DO WHAT I DID..!”
They wore the cardboards and were marched through the streets by village chiefs and police officers.
“We interrogated them, made an agreement, paraded them around the island and forced them to leave Gili. The walk of shame parade is a regulation in our village. I don’t know whether the police are charging them now, what matters to me is that they’re [the suspects] now gone.”
-Muhamad Taufik, Village chief
This will not be the first time tourists were punished in this humiliating fashion.
In August a French national faced the same fate. In his case, the cardboard read, “I am from France. I am a thief. Do Not trust me!”
A travel manager who prefers to remain anonymous says that the tourist walk of shame was introduced to the remote island shortly after the tourist industry began booming in the 2000s.
“There is no police office on the island, only security [office] and when they catch someone who stole they ask you for money and put you in ‘jail’ [a holding cell] for the night. The day after you walk down the Main Street around all the island (7km) with the board ‘I’m a thief don’t do what I did’.”