Indonesian authorities will prosecute
four exotic dancers arrested at clubs on New Year's Eve for
allegedly violating a new anti-pornography law, a police spokesman
The female dancers and two male club managers were detained in
Bandung, a city southeast of the capital, Jakarta, said West Java
provincial police spokesman Col. Dade Ahmad. They appeared to have
been preparing for a striptease and "were wearing sexy clothing,"
Ahmad said, when the police raided the Bellair Cafe and the Music
Lounge after midnight.
Indonesia's 2008 anti-pornography law was pushed through
parliament by conservative Muslim parties, but opposed by rights
groups that argue it criminalizes traditional dance and art,
particularly in far flung provinces where partial nudity is
Police confiscated skimpy underwear and nearly $200 in cash
believed to have been from tips, Ahmad said, adding that they could
be sentenced to prison terms of five to 10 years if convicted.
Ahmad said the six will be the first people prosecuted under the
law in Bandung, where the mayor recently announced a crackdown on
behavior considered un-Islamic. It is unclear if it has been applied
elsewhere in the country.
Bandung Mayor Dada Rosada told reporters Wednesday he was also
considering revoking the cafes' operating permits.
Ninety percent of Indonesia's 235 million citizens are Muslim,
most practicing a moderate form of the faith. But many of its
islands have large Christian and Hindu populations and some women in
tribal regions, like Papua, still go topless.