APSN Banner

Humans rights groups condemn police raid on 'gay party' in Indonesia

SBS News - September 8, 2020

The Indonesian government has been urged to urgently investigate a police raid on a so-called "gay party" that resulted in the arrests of nine men.

One human rights group said the incident sent a terrifying message to LGBTIQ+ people in the country.

The nine men were charged under Indonesia's pornography law and Article 296 of Indonesia's criminal code – which relates to causing or facilitating an "obscene act" – following the raid in South Jakarta in early September, according to Amnesty International.

Dozens of men were arrested at the time.

Amnesty International's Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid said there's no legal justification for criminalising the behaviour the men are accused of.

"Raids like these send a terrifying message to LGBTI people," he said in a statement.

"We call on the authorities to release all people arrested in the party and drop all charges against them.

"They must also stop these arbitrary and humiliating raids and stop misusing laws against loitering or public nuisance to harass and arrest people accused of same-sex activity."

Indonesian police described the gathering as a "gay party", according to Amnesty.

Human Rights Watch said the incident followed several other arrests of LGBITQ+ people in private gatherings, with seven men jailed under the pornography law in 2017 after being arrested at a party in Surabaya, while 10 men were jailed months later after police raided a sauna.

The organisation is calling for the Indonesian government to urgently investigate the raid.

"The latest raid fits into a disturbing pattern of Indonesian authorities using pornography law as a weapon to target LGBT people," HRW senior LGBT rights researcher Kyle Knight said in a statement.

"The government has been inciting hostility toward LGBT people for several years, and there is no accountability for abuses such as police raids on private spaces."

Source: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/humans-rights-groups-condemn-police-raid-on-gay-party-in-indonesia