Two Indonesian men caught having gay sex may be caned 100 times


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Photo: BBC News/YouTube

Two men in Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province are facing a public caning after neighbours caught them having gay sex in their boarding house.

CNN Indonesia reported that other residents caught the two men, aged 27 and 28, after the boarding house’s owner noticed one had frequent male guests to his room.

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Safriadi, the head of the Aceh province’s Islamic police force, told CNN the owner asked the residents to conduct the raid, which occurred on November 12.

The mob of men reportedly caught the pair together and dragged them outside before notifying police.

Safriadi said the men later admitted to police to having sex. The police chief went on to suggest officers were also investigating others the men contacted on social media.

“This is what we are exploring. There may be a [gay community in Aceh capital Banda Aceh],” he said.

Aceh is the only province of Muslim-majority Indonesia that follows Islamic Sharia law, which strictly bans gay sex.

Public caning is one punishment for such offences under the laws including gay sex, sex out of wedlock, gambling, and drinking alcohol.

According to CNN, police later detained the two men. They planned to charge them under Aceh’s law prohibiting gay sex.

If found guilty, the two Indonesian men face the prospect of 100 lashes at a public caning.

Public caning for gay sex in Aceh slammed as ‘torture’

In 2017, police charged two men aged 20 and 23 for having gay sex. Neighbours forced their way into the men’s home and discovered them in bed together.

The two men were later caned 83 times in front of a crowd of hundreds in Aceh.

A year later, two more men convicted of having gay sex were publicly caned 87 times.

Both punishments caused global outrage and Human Rights Watch called on Indonesia president Jokowi Widodo to ban the “torture”.

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“Jokowi [must] demonstrate that his support of equal rights for all is not empty rhetoric,” the group said.

“He needs to start by protecting these [two gay men] from torture.”

Homosexuality is not illegal in the rest of Indonesia. However in recent years leaders have increasingly targeted the country’s LGBTIQ community with homophobic rhetoric and police raids.

Human rights groups warn police use Indonesia’s vaguely-worded anti-pornography laws to target the LGBTIQ community.

The United Nations Human Rights Council previously called on Indonesia to free anyone detained for being LGBTIQ and also tackle homophobic stigma.

Many in Indonesia also falsely believe homosexuality is a disease. Some LGBTIQ Indonesians undergo dangerous conversion therapy, in some cases even gay “exorcisms”.

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