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Indonesia rights body condemns plans for LGBT raids ordered by mayor after UK rape case

JAKARTA – Indonesia’s human rights commission on Tuesday (Jan 14) condemned plans by a mayor to launch raids targeting the LGBT community in his city after a local man was convicted in Britain of sexually assaulting 48 men.

Described by a prosecutor as “the most prolific rapist in British legal history”, Indonesian student Reynhard Sinaga last month was convicted of 136 rapes against the men, whom he drugged, and given a life sentence with a minimum term of 30 years.

The mayor of Depok, Mr Mohammad Idris, plans to enlist public order officers to raid residences of members of the LGBT community, according to a statement posted last week on the city’s official website.

Homosexuality is not regulated by law in Indonesia, except in Aceh province, where Islamic law bans same-sex relations. But the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation has seen a rise in hostility towards the LGBT community.

“The raids increase the risk of persecution and other law-defying acts,” the head of National Commission on Human Rights, Mr Beka Ulung Hapsara, told Reuters.

The commission has also written to the Depok government.

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