On Tuesday, a human rights commission in Indonesia condemned a mayor ordered raids targeting the LGBT+ community in his city.
The raids were planned in response to a local man was convicted in Britain of sexually assaulting 48 men.
The man, who is originally from the Mayor’s town was described by a prosecutor as “the most prolific rapist in British legal history”.
Reynhard Sinaga was last month convicted of 136 rapes against 48 men whom he drugged and was handed down a life sentence with a minimum term of 30 years.
The Mayor of Depok, Mohammad Idris, said in a statement issued last week that he plans to enlist public order officers to raid residences of members of the LGBT+ community.
“The raids increase the risk of persecution and other law-defying acts,” a commissioner of the National Commission on Human Rights, Beka Ulung Hapsara, told Reuters.
LGBT+ Persecution Continues In Indonesia
The persecution of Indonesia’s LGBT+ community continues to intensify. In November, Indonesian police arrested ten ‘suspected lesbians’ after two of them were seen hugging in a photo shared on Facebook. The women were sent to an ‘education programme’ following the arrest.
Indonesia’s crackdown on LGBT+ people gained serious momentum in 2016. While homosexuality is not criminalised throughout a large part of Indonesia, LGBT+ people continue to face oppression as the influence of conservative Islamic groups rise. Certain parts of Indonesia are governed by Sharia law, and under this, homosexuality is illegal and punishable by flogging.
Two men were arrested in West Java for running a group on Facebook called ‘Facebook Gay Bandung Indonesia’. They were later charged with a ‘decency violation’.
Moreover, trans people in parts of Indonesia face serious persecution. In October last year, police arrested six people they believed to be trans in West Sumatra, while just this week police hosed down three trans people in public.
Most recently, the city of Depok in West Java announced illegal plans to restrict the movement of LGBT+ people which the National Commission of Human Rights has condemned.
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