10 men receive prison sentences for being at a gay sex party in Indonesia

An Indonesian court have ruled that 10 men will be sent to prison after being arrested during a raid at a gay club and sauna earlier this year.

Back in May, 140 men were detained by police at the Atlantis spa in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta on suspicion of participating in a sex party at the venue.

Homosexuality isn’t illegal in Indonesia, so a majority of the men were later released.

However, 10 of the men were detained and tried under anti-pornography laws, and have now been found guilty, according to an activist and relative of one of the men.

Those charged include two visitors to the spa, who police allege performed oral sex.

Several employees including managers, a gym trainer, a security guard and a stripper make up the other eight men who have been charged.

According to a sister of one of the men charged, the four people serving as managers of the club received a a four-year prison sentence, while the other six will serve two years inside.

“This punishment is too heavy,” said the sister, who asked to remain anonymous. “Because in fact what he did is a private behaviour that does not harm others.”

Earlier this year, two men were sentenced to a public caning in Aceh, a province in Indonesia where homosexuality is illegal.

However, in September the government of Indonesia announced that they would “take further steps to ensure a safe and enabling environment for all human rights defenders”, which included LGBTQ activists, and to give priority to equality and non-discrimination.

Indonesia is doing this following its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) from the United Nations (UN).

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