Police Detain Over 140 Men In Raid On Gay Sauna In Indonesia

LGBT rights groups say the men were later stripped and humiliated online.

Over 140 men were taken into custody following the police raid of a gay sauna in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Police entered Atlantis Jakarta late Sunday evening, detaining both visitors and staff. A spokesperson for the force later said that 141 people were taken into custody for violating “pornography laws” and that ten suspects had been charged.

indonesia arrest
North Jakarta Police District

According to a statement from The Advocacy Coalition, once the men were removed from the sauna and brought to the station, they were questioned and had their belongings confiscated. The group also alleged that police forced the detained men to strip, took photos of them and then shared those photos online.

“They were still treated unlawfully by the local police by photographing the victims naked and then disseminated those photos to the point of virality, be it by messages, social media or the news media,” the Advocacy Coalition said. “We find that act to be illegal and inhumane.”

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The incident at Atlantis Jakarta is just the latest in a long string of assaults against Indonesia’s LGBT community, which has been suffering at the hands of a government that encourages its citizens to openly discriminate against their queer neighbors.

Earlier this month, police raided two hotel rooms in Surabaya where 14 gay men had gathered. Eight were arrested for violating the country’s strict anti-pornography law, while two were charged with organizing the event and providing pornography, offenses punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

In addition to forbidding the use of pornography, the law also explicitly forbids a number of “deviant sexual acts,” which include sex with corpses, sex with animals, oral sex, anal sex and same-sex relations.

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