INDONESIA: Human Rights Groups Object After Police Raid Gay Party With Help From Islamic Activists

The Jakarta Post reports:

Along with a group of hard-liners, the Pancoran Police arrested 13 men on Saturday night at an apartment block in South Jakarta for allegedly holding “a sex party”. Despite no strong evidence that the men had committed any crime, around 50 members of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) barged into an apartment in the Kalibata City apartment complex and forced the police to arrest the 13 men.

Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono said Sunday the incident began after a circulated message about the alleged sex party was received by an FPI member. The member went to the unit and found a group of men not wearing any shirts before making a report to the Pancoran Police.

Escorted by the police and apartment security personnel, the mob entered the apartment and police officers took the men into custody. However, Raden said the police were still investigating whether the men had committed any crime, saying that the only items that were confiscated during the raid were smartphones, condoms, and antiretroviral drugs for HIV patients.

“We are not sure if there was any prostitution, all we know is they were playing some games there,” Raden told reporters. The Jakarta Post’s source, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, said the mob came at about 11:30 p.m. to one of the towers in the apartment complex. Members of the mob were shouting “Allahu Akbar!” FPI’s public relations division said on their Twitter account @HumasFPI on Sunday that the group’s “investigation unit” along with the police “successfully broken up” the alleged sex party.

ABC News reports:

The detention of 13 men in Jakarta for their alleged involvement in a “sex party” has sparked the ire of human rights groups who say people’s privacy is being trampled in the name of “Islamic morality”. Thirteen men were detained for questioning, before being released on Sunday night. “There’s no arrest. The police just secured them, questioned and after finding out that there’s no crime in it, we sent them home,” Jakarta Police spokesman, Senior Commissioner Prabowo Argo Yuwono told AAP on Monday.

Snr Comm Yuwono said the men told police they were playing a “game” which involved stripping. It is not illegal for such events to be held. Andreas Harsono from Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the raid was yet “another setback for Indonesia’s fledgling democracy.” “People’s privacy is being trampled in the name of Islamic morality,” he told AAP. “The police should not work with any vigilante groups in Indonesia. It is an old practice but it should stop.”

RELATED: Homosexual acts were legalized in Indonesia in 1993. However in 2014 the province of Aceh enacted Sharia Law for Muslims. Punishments for homosexuality in Aceh can include public floggings and 100 months of imprisonment. Last year the Islamic High Council called for the death penalty for homosexuality in an edict that is not legally binding. Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation with 260 million residents.