141 Men Arrested in Indonesia for Attending ‘Gay Sex Party’, Violating Pornography Laws

Police in Jakarta, Indonesia have arrested 141 men for allegedly attending a gay sex party at a sauna on Sunday.

Homosexuality is not illegal in the country, but the latest arrests follow a rise in discrimination and attacks on the LGBT community in Indonesia.

There were gay people who were caught strip-teasing and masturbating in the scene,” Jakarta police spokesman Raden Argo Yuwono told BBC.

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One person from Singapore and one Briton were reportedly among the attendees at Sunday’s party, where they paid 185,000 rupiahs ($13.91) to enter.

Those detained could face charges under Indonesia’s harsh anti-pornography laws, which states that putting on a live strip show for public entertainment could be considered as “pornography”.

A police spokesman told Reuters on Monday that 10 men had been charged and the rest were held for questioning.

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It’s been increasing for two years now,” Yulita Rustinawati, from the LGBT activist group Arus Pelangi, told the Guardian. “It’s bad for democracy, for freedom of expression and freedom of association. We’re not sure what the government is trying to achieve. We are queer and we are not going away.

The arrests come after two men were sentenced to 85 lashes when they were found to be naked and in bed together back in March.

The couple was found guilty of breaking sharia law in the ultra-conservative Aceh Province.

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Judge Khairil Jamal reportedly pronounced 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.

According to VICE News, Human Rights Watch urged President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo last week to step in and stop the public lashings, describing the punishment as torture under international law.

Earlier in May, police arrested 14 people in Surabaya, Indonesia for allegedly holding a different gay party and could also be charged under the anti-pornography laws.

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