The arrest comes as Indonesia becomes increasingly hostile toward the LGBTQ community.
Indonesian police have arrested a gay couple, reportedly for running a pro-LGBTQ Facebook page. The police raid happened on Thursday, and it was reported to be the first case of criminalization of homosexual discussions on social media in the country. Police forces also confiscated some of the men’s items.
The Facebook site, Gay Bandung currently has over 4,000 followers of differing age groups. The Straits Times reports Adjutant Chief Commander Hari Brata, the deputy director of the police special crimes unit saying: “They connect and matchmake people who want to make same-sex friendships.”
The two men could be charged with breaking the electronic information law by allegedly transmitting pornographic material. If they’re convicted they could face up to six years imprisonment and a fine of one billion rupiah, which roughly equates to over £50,000.
Indonesia has been turning more hostile toward the LGBTQ community in recent months. At the start of the year they started banning all gay dating apps, with a spokesperson saying that they contained “content related to pornography.”
And at one point in the year, it looked like the country could have banned homosexuality by Valentine’s Day. The bill that aims to ban homosexuality had backing from all 10 of the main Indonesian political parties.
One Indonesian city, Depok, even created a taskforce to “anticipate the spread of LGBT” among young people. Speaking about why the taskforce had been spread up, Coconuts reported the city’s deputy mayor, Muhammad Idris as saying: “Religion has agreed that LGBT acts are forbidden, so legally we will overcome this problem so that it will not spread.”