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Indonesian human rights agency opposes LGBT raids

The homophobic mayor of Depok, Indonesia, thinks a rape conviction in the United Kingdom is a good reason to raid the homes of LGBT Indonesians.

Mohammad Idris (Photo courtesy of Alturi.org)

Indonesia’s human rights commission last week condemned plans by Mayor Mohammad Idris to order raids targeting the LGBT community in Depok after an Indonesian man was convicted in Britain of sexually assaulting 48 men.

“The raids increase the risk of persecution and other law-defying acts,” the head of the National Commission on Human Rights, Beka Ulung Hapsara, told Reuters.

Idris also said the town would establish a rehabilitative centre to assist “victims” in the LGBT transgender community.

His announcement came in response to the conviction and Jan. 6 sentencing of Indonesian student Reynhard Sinaga, described by a prosecutor as “the most prolific rapist in British legal history.” Sinaga was convicted last month of 136 rapes against the men, whom he drugged. He given a life sentence with a minimum term of 30 years.

Reuters reported:

Dede Oetomo, an Indonesian LGBT activist, said the community was braced for hysteria over the Sinaga case.

A 22-year-old Indonesian student living in Depok, who identifies as bisexual and declined to be identified, slammed the move, saying it “violates private spaces” and was a waste of money.

Nearly 90 percent of Indonesians who understand the term LGBT feel “threatened” by the community and believe their religion forbids same-sex relations, according to a 2018 survey.

Arus Pelangi, an LGBT advocacy group, reported in September more than 1,800 cases of persecution of gay Indonesians between 2006 and 2017.

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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