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Two men face 100 lashes after being arrested for having gay sex
Pink News - April 2, 2018
Condoms and mobile phones belonging to the 21 and 24-year-old were handed over to police. Marzuki, head of the Aceh Provincial Sharia Law Department, told local reporters that one of the men had 'confessed' to the charges.
Last year, two men were caned 83 times each as a legal punishment for having gay sex.
Marzuki said then that residents in the local area had been suspicious of the men because they of their apparent intimacy, and deliberately set out to catch them having sex.
While homosexuality has never been illegal in Indonesia, attitudes towards LGBT people have become steadily more extreme across the country in recent years despite a growing gay population.
The Indonesian Psychiatrists Association classifies homosexuality, bisexuality and being transgender as illnesses.
And earlier this year, Indonesian police arrested 12 transgender women in Aceh and shaved their heads in an effort "to turn them into men". The raid on salons was called "operasi penyakit masyarakat," which translates as "community sickness operation".
The police chief in Aceh said his officers also humiliated the trans women "by way of having them run for some time and telling them to chant loudly until their male voices came out."
There is also a growing movement in the country to ban gay sex. A bill with the support of most of the country's main political parties is making its way through the legislative process.
Amendments have been accepted by the House of Representatives, but the whole Parliament must sign off on the bill before it makes its way to the President's desk.
Andreas Harsono of Human Rights Watch said the new law "will create new discriminatory offences that do not exist in the current criminal code.
"It will slow down Indonesia's efforts to develop their economy, society, knowledge [and] education... if law enforcement agencies are busy policing morality. "It's sounding like the Acehnese sharia code," he added.
The day after the two men were caned last year, 141 men were arrested in Jakarta, the capital, for having a "gay sex party". And earlier that same month, eight men were arrested for holding a "gay party" in Surabaya, the second biggest city in Indonesia.
The Indonesian Supreme Court narrowly blocked a similar measure from passing last month, but it seems that was only a temporary reprieve. Gay hook-up apps have also been pulled from the Google Play Store in Indonesia amid a government crackdown on the LGBT community.