Indonesia Police Arrest 141 Men Accused of Being Homosexuals

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The police in Indonesia have arrested 141 men at a sauna in the capital on suspicion of having a gay sex party, the latest crackdown on homosexuality in the country.

After the arrests in Jakarta on Sunday night, the police released to local news organizations numerous photographs of shirtless men who had been detained, alarming rights activists who said friends and families of the men may not have been aware of their sexual orientation.

Same-sex relations are not illegal in most of Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim nation, though gay people are frequent targets of police raids and vigilante actions.

A police spokesman said the men had been detained on suspicion of violating Indonesia’s pornography law, a broad piece of legislation that is used to punish a wide range of sexual behavior.




Similar police raids and arrests have been reported around the country, including in Jakarta in November, when 13 men were taken into custody after the police were tipped off about what was said to be a gay sex party. Last week, two men in the northwestern province of Aceh were sentenced under Shariah law to 85 public lashes each for having sex with each other.

Because of strong social and religious taboos against homosexuality in much of Indonesia, gatherings of gays often take place away from the public eye, like in saunas or at underground parties.

“It’s very difficult for us to express our sexuality like heterosexuals,” said Hartoyo, the director of Suara Kita, a gay rights advocacy group, who goes by one name. He said that releasing pictures of the shirtless men to local news outlets was “extremely dangerous.”

Analysts said the arrests in Jakarta were part of enforcement efforts by the police before Ramadan, the monthlong holiday in which observant Muslims fast throughout the day.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 3206 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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