Covid-19 lawbreakers in Indonesia forced to dig graves as punishment

Covid-19 lawbreakers in Indonesia forced to dig graves as punishment

Law enforcement officials in East Java, Indonesia, have introduced grave digging as one of the punishments applied to those who break Covid-19 health protocols. 

According to a CNN report, local authorities are forcing offenders to dig graves for victims of Covid-19 in the hopes the labour would convince them to do their part to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Other penalties for people not following rules, such as wearing a mask, include lying down in coffins, praying for Covid-19 victims at cemeteries, and doing push-ups.

Indonesia has a mask mandate, but some have opposed this and social distancing. According to Johns Hopkins University, the country has 244,676 confirmed  Covid-19 cases and 9,553 deaths.

The country’s officials initiated the mask mandate in April and allowed local authorities to determine the punishments for disobeying the rule.

So far eight people who refused to wear masks have been made to dig graves for Covid-19 victims. 

The district's leader, identified by Indonesian news site Tribun News as Suyono, proposed the punishment of grave digging due to a lack of gravediggers in the area.

“There are only three available gravediggers at the moment, so I thought I might as well put these people to help with digging. They did not bury the bodies,” he said. “Hopefully, this can create a deterrent effect against violations.”