Politics

9 men arrested for organizing gay party in Indonesia

Jakarta, Sep 2 (efe-epa).- Indonesian police have arrested nine men for organizing a gay sex party at a Jakarta apartment-hotel, authorities said Wednesday.

The group, whose identities have not been made public, were detained on Friday on charges of violating several of the country’s laws against pornography and obscene acts.

They were arrested for organizing a gay sex party in an apartment in the capital’s southern complex which was attended by 56 people.

The men all face three charges of organizing obscene acts that can carry sentences of up to 15 years in prison, police said in a statement.

They had created a community called HOT SOACE that had organized six events in various hotels in Jakarta since 2018 in which participants were charged to attend, according to police.

Police presented the detainees dressed in orange prison shirts during a press conference on Wednesday.

Indonesian law does not prohibit homosexuality, except in the western province of Aceh where Islamic sharia law is in force.

Human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, have denounced an increase in repression against the LGBT community in recent years in the country, which has the largest Muslim population in the world.

HRH said in a statement on its website: “The Indonesian government abets widespread attacks on sexual and gender minorities through officials’ hateful rhetoric and discrimination.

“Authorities targeted private gatherings of LGBT individuals and criminalized consensual same-sex conduct.”

It warned that Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s “rhetorical support for human rights has not led to meaningful policy initiatives”.

The organization also criticized a revised criminal code being considered by the government which “proposes to punish extramarital sex with up to one year in jail and unmarried couples who live together with six months”.

“Consensual sex between adults should never be a crime, and this law would disproportionately affect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people,” it added in a statement in February.

Police arrested two people on the island of Java in October 2018 for managing a Facebook page for homosexuals on charges of disseminating pornography.

In March 2017, 141 men were arrested at a gay club in Jakarta for allegedly violating anti-pornography laws. EFE-EPA

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