Police in Indonesia on Friday raided a
gay sauna in the capital Jakarta resulting in the arrests of 58 men.
Police initiated the raid after they
received information that the sauna was being used for prostitution.
The men face up to 10 years in prison and fines.
“We secured 51 and seven employees
for allegedly providing pornographic services,” a spokesman for
Jakarta police said in a statement.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
people face increasing hostility in the Muslim majority nation.
Among the detained were six foreigners,
including four men from China, one from Thailand and one from
Holland, the AFP reported.
Gay sex is not illegal in Indonesia
except in conservative Aceh province, but anti-LGBT sentiment is high
in the conservative nation, where police have in the past used the
country's anti-pornography laws and drug charges to target the LGBT
The police spokesman said that six of
those detained would be charged under Indonesia's tough
Human Rights Watch called for the
police to release the men.
“This is part of the ongoing
anti-LGBT campaign in Indonesia that has been going on since January
last year,” Andreas Harsono, senior Indonesia researcher at Human
Rights Watch, told the AFP. “Human Rights Watch demands police
release them and not make up charges against them.”