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Jakarta Post

Surveillance nation: Behind arrest of gays in Aceh

  • Hendri Yulius
    Hendri Yulius

    Writer of Coming Out and a lecturer of gender and sexuality studies

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Jakarta   /   Thu, April 13, 2017   /  01:45 pm
Surveillance nation: Behind arrest of gays in Aceh A man walks past an anti-LGBT banner erected by an ultra-conservative Islamic group in Jakarta, March 17. (AP/Tatan Syuflana)

On the night of March 28, unidentified vigilantes invaded a house to arrest two men aged 20 and 23 for allegedly having same-sex relationships. A video circulating in social media shows the vigilantes kicking, slapping and insulting the pair before they were brought to and detained at a sharia police facility. Reports said the chief inspector has pushed the men into confessing that they were gay and thus would be detained before being tried under   Aceh’s Islamic Criminal Code (Qanun Jinayah). Homosexuality continues to become Indonesia’s obsession. In 2016 conservative groups tried to outlaw homosexuality at the national level, but the eventual penalty against the above men would be the first caning of men declared to be gays – a punishment under sharia, which is authorized in Aceh under its special autonomy law, following the agreement between the Indones...

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