Indonesia: Police Force Groom to Do Push-Ups for Not Wearing Mask at Wedding

A newly-wedded couple put on face masks during a traditional wedding at a village in Lhoknga, Aceh province on August 30, 2020. (Photo by CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN / AFP) (Photo by CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Police in Indonesia recently imposed one of their most bizarre Chinese coronavirus-related punishments to date, entering a wedding ceremony and forcing the groom to perform push-ups after caught failing to wear a mask.

The groom, referred to only as Solihudin, was in the middle of his special day in the Randugong village of East Java’s Pasuruan regency when police checked in on the event and forced him to do push-ups in what has been described as a lenient punishment, Coconuts reported.

Bizarre footage circulating on social media shows Solihudin dropping to the ground and carrying out his punishment while his wife and members of the congregation laugh. The police then help to put a mask on him.

The police officer in the video, Harid Kurniawan, has since explained that he and authorities are required to pay visits on any event held in the village to ensure compliance of anti-coronavirus protocols.

“I instructed the punishment because this groom didn’t wear a face mask. It wasn’t to punish him, but to educate the public so that they will practice discipline and keep wearing their face masks to avoid getting infected by COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus],” said Kurniawan, who is the head of Randugong village’s security and public agency.

Kurniawan added that although official approval had been granted for the event and most biosecurity protocols were being observed, he also had to hand out masks to the guests who were not wearing them.

“Moreover, the people in Randugong village began to be reluctant to wear face masks,” he continued. “We continue to anticipate this negligence by educational efforts.”

It is not the first time bizarre punishments have been handed out by Indonesian authorities since the pandemic began. In April, officials Central Java province forced some of the infected to stay in a haunted house after they violated their 14-day quarantine period.

With its population of around 270 million, Indonesia has performed better than other large countries in terms of reducing contagion, reporting around 175,000 cases and 7,417 deaths from the pandemic. This works out at around 27.43 deaths per million, although poverty and widespread lack of testing inevitably make those numbers less exact.

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