|Two men accused of having gay sex sit on the defendants' chairs during|
their trial at Shariah court in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, May 10, 2017.
A sharia court Wednesday sentenced two men to be publicly caned for gay sex for the first time in Indonesia's conservative province of Aceh, the latest sign of a backlash against homosexuals in the Muslim-majority country.
The pair, aged 20 and 23, were sentenced to 85 strokes of the cane each after being found guilty of breaking Aceh's strict Islamic laws.
They were caught together in bed in March by vigilantes who burst into the boarding house where they were staying in provincial capital Banda Aceh.
Presiding judge Khairil Jamal told the court that the men had been "proven legally and convincingly guilty of committing gay sex, the defendants are sentenced to 85 strokes of the cane in public".
Officials have not revealed the men's names due to the sensitivity of the case. The sentence will be carried out at a later date.
Aceh is the only part of Indonesia, which has the world's biggest Muslim population, that is allowed to implement sharia law and public canings for offences ranging from gambling to drinking alcohol were already common.
But the men found guilty Wednesday will be the first to be subject to the punishment for gay sex, which was banned in Aceh under a regulation introduced in 2015. Gay sex is not illegal in the rest of Indonesia.
The verdict is the latest example of growing hostility towards Indonesia's small lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, which faced a backlash last year with government ministers publicly making anti-gay statements.
After the men were caught in the raid in March in the provincial capital Banda Aceh, phone footage circulated online showing the vigilantes kicking, slapping and insulting them, with one of them slumped naked on the ground.
They were then turned over to the sharia police. Authorities said the pair admitted to being in a relationship and having had sex three times.
Source: Agence France-Presse, May 17, 2017
Two men accused of being gay sentenced to be publicly caned 85 times in Aceh
|Public caning in Indonesia's Aceh province|
Two men in their twenties will be the first to be caned for homosexuality in Indonesia’s Aceh province.
The men aged 20 and 23 were accused of being gay and having sex with each other after their neighbours tipped them off to police.
They were sentenced on Wednesday morning to 85 lashes. Both men will remain in custody while their sentence is carried out.
Indonesia’s Aceh province was allowed to have special bylaws known as Jinayah Law in 2006.
It implemented the laws regarding homosexuality in 2014 ago and allow local courts to try citizens under Islamic Sharia Law.
One of the men cried as his sentence was read out, while the other asked the judges for a lighter sentence.
Prosecutors had originally asked for the men to be sentenced to 80 lashes without a prison term. But the three judges ruling in the case settled on the 85 lashes.
Judge Khairil Jamal said the accused were ‘legally and convincingly proven to be guilty, and the defendant’s punishment will be 85 lashes’.
It is the first time anyone in Aceh has been convicted of homosexual acts.
Source: Gay Star News, Shannon Power, May 17, 2017
Indonesian authorities publicly released the results of HIV tests forced on 14 gay men
Human Rights Watch have released a statement denouncing the treatment of the men, stating that the police continue to violate the rights and privacy of LGBTQI people in Indonesia.
An anti-LGBTQI Indonesian police raid last month led to the detention and forced HIV testing of 14 men, and human rights activists say the laws and actions of police violate the rights and privacy of LGBTQIA people.
Police were reportedly tipped off by neighbours, and carried out a midnight raid on a private party of 14 gay men, who were in two hotel rooms in Surabaya. Police detained the entire group, and confiscated condoms, mobile phones, and a flash drive that allegedly contained homosexual pornographic videos.
The next day, police informed media that all 14 men were made to undergo testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and five had tested HIV positive.
Police also told media that eight of the men were detained on Law on Pornography charges, and two of the men are being charged with organising the 'sex party' event and providing pornography.
Indonesia's Law on Pornography specifically prohibits sexual parties, and the usage and distribution of homosexual pornography. Homosexual sex is included under the umbrella term "deviant sexual acts", which also covers sex with corpses, sex with animals, oral sex, and anal sex.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) have released a statement denouncing the treatment of the men, and stating that the police continue to violate the rights and privacy of LGBTQI people in Indonesia.
Phelim Line, deputy Asia director of HRW, said in a statement, "Indonesian police are again violating the basic rights of LGBT people by invading their privacy. The Surabaya raid subjected these gay men to traumatic humiliation, puts two at risk of long prison terms, and threatens the privacy rights of all Indonesians."
HRW's story on the matter says that forced HIV testing goes against the ethical and human rights principles of privacy, autonomy and informed consent, as well as the World Health Organisation's guidelines on consent for HIV testing: "Mandatory, compulsory or coercive HIV testing is never appropriate."
The raid in Surabaya comes in the wake of major anti-LGBTQI sentiment from government officials and politicians throughout 2016, which led to growing harassment and violence against LGBTQI Indonesians. Despite President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo defending Indonesia's LGBTQI people in October last year, this latest raid shows that authorities continue to target the community.
Last month, police in the Aceh province - which upholds sharia law - arrested two men for having consensual sex in the privacy of their own home. They now face a public flogging sentence, which violates international prohibitions against torture. The United Nations Human Rights Council's International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states that "it is undisputed that adult consensual sexual activity in private is covered by the concept of ‘privacy'."
Late in 2016, Indonesia also moved to block Grindr and a number of other gay dating apps.
Kine called for President Jokowi to "make good on his commitments to protect privacy rights" and end the government's support for police raids on LGBTQI people: "So long as the government permits police raids on private gatherings under a discriminatory law, it will fail to curb anti-LGBT harassment and intimidation."
Source: SBS, Chloe Sargeant, May 8, 2017
Indonesia steps up its crackdown on gays with massive raid
Predominantly-Muslim Indonesia is rooting out gay men and punishing them for being gay — even though that’s not a crime.
The most recent example Sunday night netted 141 arrests of men at a sauna that is popular in Jakarta’s gay community, in what was described as a “gay sex party” dubbed “The Wild One,” according to Gay Star News. Each man paid the U.S. equivalent of $14 for entry.
The men, many of them shirtless, were hustled before photographers and those pictures were widely disseminated, which shocked not only LGBTQ activists but their unsuspecting families as well, reported The New York Times. Not all of the suspects were out to relatives, friends and coworkers, according to reports.
“It’s very difficult for us to express our sexuality like heterosexuals,” the director of a gay rights advocacy group called Suara Kita told The Times. He goes by one name: Hartoyo. He told the newspaper that releasing pictures of the shirtless men to local news outlets was “extremely dangerous.”
A police spokesman told the paper the men were detained on suspicion of violating Indonesia’s pornography law, which police use to punish a wide range of sexual behavior.
While same-sex relations are not illegal in most of Indonesia, police stage raids on businesses catering to the mostly underground gay community, and are notorious for what The Times called “vigilante actions.”
The most recent raid came one day before two gay men convicted in a Sharia court last week were to be publicly caned — lashed 85 times with a whip, according to CNN — outside a mosque in Banda Aceh. Their conviction was for sodomy, which is still illegal in that province.
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