Indonesian Police Arrest Men Who Allegedly Ran LGBTIQ Facebook Page


Indonesian Trans Women

Police in Indonesia have arrested and charged two men who they allege operated an LGBTIQ social page on Facebook.

Last Thursday, West Java police raided the house in Batununggal rented by the man, who allegedly created the “Gay Bandung” LGBTIQ Facebook page, the Straits Times reported.

Advertisements

Police claimed the men had managed the account since 2015 and the group had just over 4,000 members.

“They connect and matchmake people who want to make same-sex friendships,” senior police officer Hari Brata told the publication.

A West Java police officer told Reuters police were alleging the men had used the account to facilitate meet-ups for gay people and “other sex-related services”.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia – with the exception of the conservative province of Aceh – but the country’s strict anti-pornography laws have been used to prosecute the LGBTIQ community.

The men have been charged with violating electronic information law by creating and transmitting pornographic content, which carries a maximum sentence of six years’ in prison and a maximum fine of one billion rupiah (A$92,000).

Indonesia has seen an increase in raids targeting LGBTIQ people in recent years, forcing community members underground.

A number of gay parties, gyms and saunas in Indonesia’s major cities have been raided in the last 12 months, and hundreds of Indonesian men arrested.

The “Gay Bandung” case is the first police crackdown on online LGBTIQ groups, local media reported, and it comes after Indonesian authorities moved to ban a gay dating app from online stores in February.

In July, two men accused of having gay sex were publicly caned 87 times each in the Indonesian province of Aceh, which enforces its own Islamic Sharia law.