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Indonesian mayor condemned for ‘hateful raids’ on LGBT people after conviction of serial rapist Reynhard Sinaga

Emma Powys Maurice January 14, 2020
Reynhard Sinaga

Reynhard Sinaga was convicted of 159 sex offences. (CPS)

Amnesty International has condemned an Indonesian mayor for ordering LGBT+ raids in the hometown of Reynhard Sinaga, who was recently convicted as Britain’s ‘most prolific rapist’.

Sinaga was sentenced to life imprisonment for attacking 48 men, who he would lure from outside of clubs in Manchester to his flat. He was convicted of 159 sex offences, although the total number is believed to be closer to 200.

Mayor Mohammad Idris responded to the news by declaring that he wants to heighten efforts to prevent the “spread of LGBT” in Depok, West Java, where the family of Reynhard Sinaga reportedly live.

Idris proposed raids on rooming houses and apartments, denouncing the entire LGBT+ community “in the name of social, moral and religious teachings”, even as he acknowledged that Sinaga’s crime was a “personal problem”, the Jakarta Post reported.

The move is the latest in a “vicious campaign” of harassment of LGBT+ people in country, said Usman Hamid, executive director of Amnesty International Indonesia.

“Same-sex relations are protected under international law and there can be no justification for these hateful raids,” he said.

“Criminalisation of homosexuality is discriminatory and violates the rights to private and family life, freedom of expression, and the freedom of assembly and association.

“The authorities in Indonesia repeatedly launch humiliating crackdowns on suspected same-sex activity, and misuse laws against loitering or public nuisance to harass and arrest LGBTI people. The Indonesian government should also repeal all laws that criminalise specific gender identities and expressions.”

An Indonesian man is sentenced to 85 strokes with a cane for having sex with another man in the conservative Aceh province (Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP/Getty)

Although homosexuality is not illegal in most parts of Indonesia, the law doesn’t protect LGBT+ people from discrimination or hate crimes. Everyday the country’s LGBT+ citizens contend with constant pressure from religious authorities and pressure groups that call for their existence to be criminalised.

Last year saw the proposal of new laws banning sex between unmarried couples and making it illegal for unmarried couples to live together. As same-sex relationships are not recognised under Indonesian law, this would make it illegal for same-sex couples to live together and gay sex would be effectively criminalised.

Recently several Indonesian ministries banned LGBT+ people from applying for certain jobs, saying that they only want “normal ones” without any “behavioural deviations”.

International teachers in some Indonesian schools are being subjected to intrusive ‘psychological exams’ aimed at uncovering their sexual orientation and attitude towards LGBT+ rights.

More: amnesty international, criminalisation of homosexuality, Indonesia, LGBT raids, Reynhard Sinaga

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