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141 Men Held in Jakarta After Raid on ‘Gay Striptease’

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Ford Ranger police car with prisoner compartment in Madiun, Indonesia

Ford Ranger police car with prisoner compartment in Madiun, Indonesia. Photo: CEphoto, Uwe Aranas.

Indonesian police are holding 141 men including four foreign nationals after raiding what they described as a gay striptease performance at a fitness club in North Jakarta.

Activists decried the “arbitrary and excessive arrests” in which officials paraded the men naked at a police station and released their naked photos on social media.

“The 141 people were questioned while naked and moved from room to room without clothes on the pretext of an investigation. Then the 141 people were photographed naked and [the pictures] were distributed via text, social media and news,” said a statement released by a coalition of some 80 organizations called Gema Demokrasi.

The raid and arrest followed established procedures, Dwiyono, chief of North Jakarta police, told BenarNews. “The evidence is quite strong. They were already in a state of nudity when the raid took place,” he said.

On Tuesday, two men are to be publicly flogged in Aceh, where Sharia law is in force, after being convicted of same-sex relations, which are illegal in Indonesia’s westernmost province but not elsewhere.

Cell phone footage of the two men, naked and terrified, circulated widely on social media after community members forcibly entered a rented home in Banda Aceh in late March.

In a statement Friday Human Rights Watch called on President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to prevent the “grotesque display of medieval torture” in Aceh.

“President Jokowi has spoken out in support of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Indonesia, so the imminent public flogging of two young men for same-sex relations is a crucial moment to act,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

Full story: BenarNews

Rina Chadijah

Copyright ©2017, BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews.

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