Two More Indonesian Men Arrested For Allegedly Having Gay Sex


Indonesian Men Caning For Gay Sex

Two more men have been arrested in the Indonesian province of Aceh and charged with having gay sex, as human rights advocates call for authorities to protect LGBTIQ people from anti-gay vigilantes.

The two university students had their rooms forcibly raided by vigilantes last week in Aceh, the only region of the Muslim-majority country where gay sex is illegal under the province’s Islamic laws.

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Condoms and mobile phones belonging to the two men, aged 21 and 24, were handed over to police, according to a local media report confirmed by Human Rights Watch (HRW).

If found guilty, the men face being sentenced to 100 lashes at a public caning, the group said.

HRW said in a separate raid on a hair salon on March 12, vigilantes detained two other individuals – a man and trans woman – and turned them in to police.

“These vigilante raids and arbitrary detentions underscore the abusive and discriminatory nature of Aceh’s criminal code,” HRW’s LGBT rights program director Graeme Reid said.

“Acehnese authorities should release the four and protect the public from marauding vigilantes who target vulnerable minorities.”

Homosexuality isn’t illegal in most of Indonesia, but police in the Muslim-majority country have used Indonesia’s strict anti-pornography legislation to target members of the LGBTI community in recent years.

Last year, Aceh became the first place in Indonesia to arrest and convict two men for homosexuality after neighbours allegedly found them in bed together.

The two students were caned 80 times in a public square last May, prompting international outrage.

Police in Aceh detained 12 transgender women earlier this year and publicly shamed them by forcibly cutting their hair and ordering them to dress in “masculine” clothing.

LGBTIQ advocacy groups claim they’ve helped transport people out of Aceh to Indonesian capital Jakarta or elsewhere and provide them with shelter, job training, counselling and food.

But Human Rights Watch’s Indonesian researcher Andreas Harsono told Gay Star News the organizations are struggling to keep up with the demand as the number of LGBTIQ affected grows.

“Aceh is the worst… all of Aceh is becoming a police state,” he told Gay Star News.

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“[The LGBT groups] are asking for money. The number of victims is growing. Everyone’s chipping in money.

“I met with two young lesbian women, one was 20 when she was arrested in 2015. Her parents asked her politely not to come back [to Aceh] because it’s not safe.”