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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:41 pm 
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2 men in Indonesia's Aceh province face caning for gay sex
8 April 2017

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) -- Two men in Indonesia's conservative Aceh province each face up to 100 strokes of the cane after neighbors reported them to Islamic religious police for having gay sex.

Marzuki, the Shariah police's chief investigator, said Saturday that if found guilty, the men will be the first to be caned for gay sex under a new code implemented two years ago.

Residents in a neighborhood of the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, reported the men, aged 23 and 20, to police on March 29, said Marzuki, who goes by a single name.

He said the men had "confessed" to being a gay couple and that this was supported by video footage taken by a resident that has been circulating online. It shows one of the men naked and visibly distressed as he apparently calls for help on his cellphone. The second man is repeatedly pushed by another man who is preventing the couple from leaving the room.

Aceh is the only province in Muslim-majority Indonesia to practice Shariah law, which was a concession made by the national government in 2006 to end a yearslong war with separatists.

A Shariah code implemented two years ago allows up to 100 lashes for morality offenses including gay sex. Caning is also a punishment for adultery, gambling, drinking alcohol, women who wear tight clothes and men who skip Friday prayers.

Marzuki said residents in Banda Aceh's Rukoh neighborhood were suspicious of the two men because they often seemed to be intimate, and had set out to catch them having sex.

"Based on our investigation, testimony of witnesses and evidence, we can prove that they violated Islamic Shariah law and we can take them to court," Marzuki said.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, but a judicial review being considered by the Constitutional Court is seeking to criminalize sex outside marriage and sex between people of the same gender.

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:44 pm 
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Indonesian province sets up task force targeting gays
24 May 2017

BANDUNG, Indonesia (AP) -- Indonesian police in West Java have set up a task force to investigate activities by gays in the country's most populous province.

Police chief Anton Charliyan said Wednesday the taskforce includes police, army and provincial officials. He said it will monitor and search for locations used for parties by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. He said it is aimed at preventing activities in the province such as an alleged gay sex party that was raided in the capital, Jakarta.

Police in Jakarta detained 141 men in the raid Sunday on a gay gym and sauna which they said was the venue of a sex party promoted as "The Wild One." On Tuesday, two men were publicly caned 83 times each in Aceh province for consensual gay sex.

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 1:35 pm 
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East Timor holds first LGBT parade, PM calls for acceptance
4 July 2017

DILI, East Timor (AP) -- Gay rights have taken a step forward in East Timor with its first LGBT pride parade and the prime minister announcing that the young nation's development depends on respecting the rights of all its citizens.

The parade in the capital, Dili, on June 29 attracted several hundred people and was supported by local and international organizations including the Hatutan youth group, the U.N. and U.S. Embassy.

The same week, Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araujo called on Timorese to accept people's differences. He said, "Discrimination, disrespect and abuse towards people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity does not provide any benefit to our nation."

East Timor gained independence from Indonesia following a referendum in 1999, though it suffered devastating reprisals by the Indonesian military and militias.

Source: AP

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:02 am 
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Group calls for Indonesian forces to stop virginity tests
22 November 2017

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- Indonesia's military and police continue to perform abusive virginity tests on female recruits three years after the World Health Organization declared they had no scientific validity, an international human rights group said Wednesday.

Human Rights Watch said senior Indonesian police and military officers have told it that security forces still impose the "cruel and discriminatory tests," which are carried out under the guise of psychological examinations for mental health and morality reasons. "The Indonesian government's continuing tolerance for abusive 'virginity tests' by the security forces reflects an appalling lack of political will to protect the rights of Indonesian women," said Nisha Varia, women's rights advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. The group called for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to order the national police chief and military commander to ban the practice.

The testing includes the invasive "two-finger test" to determine whether female applicants' hymens are intact, which WHO in its 2014 clinical guidelines for health care of sexually abused women said lacks any scientific basis. Indonesia's military did not respond to a request for comment. Three years ago it defended the practice as safeguarding morality. Police spokesman Setyo Wasisto said the force stopped virginity tests three years ago. Currently, he said, health checks for male and female recruits include tests for venereal diseases and only female medical staff test female recruits.

Human Rights Watch said it found that applicants who were deemed to have failed the virginity test were not necessarily penalized but all of the women it spoke with described the test as painful, embarrassing, and traumatic. Human Rights Watch has also documented the use of virginity tests by security forces in Egypt, India and Afghanistan and criticized calls for virginity tests for Indonesian school girls. It said all three branches of the Indonesian military have imposed the tests for decades and in some circumstances also extended the requirement to the fiancees of military officers.

Source: AP

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