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Two men linked to LGBT Facebook page arrested in Indonesia

Indonesian police arrested two men who allegedly operated a Facebook account to facilitate meet-ups for gay people and other sex-related services. The case marks the first police crackdown on online LGBT groups in this conservative country.

Photo by 'Capturing the human heart.' from Unsplash.com

Indonesia’s LGBT crackdown continues.

Indonesian police arrested two men who allegedly operated a Facebook account to facilitate meet-ups for gay people and other sex-related services. The two men being now held were allegedly managing a Facebook page named “Gay Bandung Indonesia” since 2015, which has 4,093 members.

According to Hari Brata, the deputy director at the West Java police directorate of special crimes, the suspects (who were identified by their initials IS and IH) were charged with “breaking electronic information law by creating and transmitting pornographic content”.

Specifically, the suspects were charged under Article 27, Point 1 of the Electronic Transactions and Information (ITE) Law on transmitting and spreading electronic information containing immorality. The law carries a maximum sentence of six years’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of one billion rupiah.

The case marks the first police crackdown on online LGBT groups.

Consensual same-sex sexual intercourse is actually legal in Indonesia, except the provinces of Aceh and for Muslims in the city of Palembang in South Sumatra. But the conservative country is known for anti-LGBT attacks, with raids of LGBT-related venues common, as well as public caning of members of the LGBT community.

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