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Mass Arrest of Indonesian Men at Sauna

Indonesia

Police rounded up 141 men in Jakarta, accused them of attending a "gay sex party," and charged them with violating antipornography laws.

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Nbroverman

Crackdowns on gay and bisexual men continue in the Asian archipelago nation of Indonesia, with 141 arrested on Sunday at a Jakarta sauna in what police called a "gay sex party."

Since homosexuality is only explicitly illegal in one Indonesian province, the men were charged with violating the nation's harsh antipornography law, according to the BBC. The police accuse some men of masturbating and others of strip-teasing, which violates the anti-orn law. Fourteen men were arrested earlier this month in the Javan city of Surbaya for attending a so-called gay party and will likely face charges under the same legislation.

This weekend's arrests, which included visitors from Britain and Singapore, follow last week's caning sentence of two men convicted of having gay sex. The men were arrested in the Aceh province, which enacted strict antihomosexuality laws three years ago.

"What is happening in Indonesia is dangerous and scary," Jessica Stern, executive director of OutRight Action International, said in a statement. "Officials are using their own personal biases on morality to oppress different groups and especially LGBTIQ people. In the past, the LGBTIQ community has experienced more tolerance in Indonesian society, but particularly over the past 18 months crackdowns have increased and the situation has become much worse for LGBTIQ people. LGBTIQ Indonesians are equal citizens and must not be singled out and oppressed simply for who they love or who they are."

Nbroverman
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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.