On Sunday night, Indonesian police raided the Atlantis Jakarta sauna and gym, a business frequented by hundreds of gay men daily, and arrested 141 men. A police spokesperson accused the men of violating Indonesia’s pornography laws and running a gay prostitution ring. A local LGBTQ rights organization alleges that the police violated the men’s rights by later releasing nude photos and details of the men via social media.
The Advocacy Coalition for Violence Against Gender and Sexual Minority Groups alleges that the police arrested the men, confiscated their belongings, interrogated them and then forced the men to strip naked for photographs that were later distributed online along with other private information about the arrestees.
In a statement, the Advocacy Coalition said, “They were still treated unlawfully by the local police by photographing the victims naked and then disseminated those photos to the point of virality, be it by messages, social media or the news media. We find that act to be illegal and inhumane.”
According to Reuters, “The detentions follow a similar raid earlier this month in Indonesia’s second-largest city of Surabaya, where officials published the results of HIV tests of several men suspected of gay sex.”
It also comes on the heels of an upcoming public caning of two men allegedly photographed by intrusive neighbors who broke into their home to catch them having sex. The human rights group Amnesty International have asked the government to not to cane the men, calling it a form of torture.
Indonesia is carrying out an ongoing crackdown on LGBTQ citizens. Though the nation doesn’t criminalize same-sex sexual intercourse, it has become increasingly anti-LGBTQ in the recent past.
About 93 percent of the population opposes homosexuality, the national psychiatrist association considers LGBTQ identity a mental disorder and the country’s leaders have begun passing laws forbidding businesses from hiring LGBTQ people and forcing them into so-called “conversion therapy” to become heterosexual.
(Featured image by manjik via iStock Photography)