Jakarta gay club raid leads to more than 100 men arrested

By Indonesia correspondent Samantha Hawley
Posted yesterday at 1:56pm
More than 100 men have been arrested for pornography, a crime that can carry a jail sentence, during a police raid on the Atlantis gay club in the Indonesian capital Jakarta.

About 140 men were detained for questioning.

Andreas Harsono from Human Rights Watch told the ABC some of the men were naked in a sauna but he argued they had not committed a crime.

Police released pictures of the men and said the evidence against them included condoms, tickets, CCTV vision and a phone used for broadcast.

"They are having a party of their own, they don't disturb the public," Mr Harsono said.

"The law is a very bad, the law is discriminating. Of course they haven't committed a crime because sexual acts are a private matter, as long as there is no coercion or violence and it's based on consent."

At least three of the men are believed to be foreigners from Singapore, Malaysia and Britain.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, except for in Aceh.

Mr Harsono said there has been a rise in anti LGBT sentiment in Indonesia over the past two years led by the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.

"There are more and more discriminatory regulations and at the same time we are also seeing the rise of Islamic organisations," he said.

Under Indonesian law the men can be detained for up to 72 hours.

It is unclear how many, if any, have been released since the Sunday evening arrest.

Tomorrow two men found guilty of having gay sex will receive 85 lashes of the cane in Aceh, where Sharia law is in force.