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Police raided home of 'lesbians' after neighbours said they 'don't fit norms of society'
Pink News - March 12, 2018
Neighbours of the women accused them of being a couple and said that they were uncomfortable about it, sparking a raid carried out by the Civil Service Police Unit (Depot Satpol PP).
Police reportedly monitored the women, who live in Depok – a city just outside of the capital Jakarta, before carrying out the raid.
Yayan Arianto, deputy at the Depok Satpol PP, said that neighbours reported their unease with the two women to authorities.
He said: "Some residents around confessed they were uncomfortable and restless because this (lesbian relationships) is not in accordance with the norms that exist in our society. "Therefore they went to us for information and to prevent unwanted things."
The two women, aged 43 and 35, were found to not be in a relationship. "They just lived alone there," the deputy added.
The raid comes as Indonesian
authorities are launching a crackdown against the LGBTQ community. Although
it is not illegal to be homosexual in the country, certain regions (Aceh)
are enforcing Sharia law which does criminalise the act.
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Reports of transgender women being rounded up and forced to go to rehabilitation centres have leaked from the country. The Jakarta Social Agency prompted the wave of detentions by classifying trans women as people who have social dysfunctional traits.
Chaidir, head of rehabilitation affairs at the agency, said it regularly conducted raids on places where they suspected trans women – known as 'waria' in Indonesia – were staying.
In January, police arrested 12 trans people, shaved their heads and paraded them in public and forced them into a series of demeaning exercises.
During the raid, called "operasi penyakit masyarakat" – which translates as "community sickness operation" – the women were dressed in stereotypically male clothing.
Indonesia has also proposed banning gay sex. Lawmakers are set to decide this month whether they will pass the bill, which reportedly has support from all 10 of main political parties. It would make gay sex punishable by up to five years in prison.
The Indonesian Supreme Court narrowly blocked a similar measure from passing in December, but it seems that was only a temporary reprieve.