JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesian police have detained more than 140 men after raiding what authorities described as a gay prostitution ring being run out of an entertainment venue in the north of the capital, Jakarta, a police spokesman said on Monday.
Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono said in a statement officials had “detained 141 people who violated pornography laws”.
He said 10 suspects, including the owner of the club and several staff members, had been charged, while the others were being questioned.
Indonesia has strict anti-pornography laws under which offenders can face up to 15 years imprisonment. The maximum penalty for downloading pornographic material is four years in jail or a 2 billion rupiah ($150,350) fine.
Sunday night’s raid came amid concerns over a backlash against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.
Homosexuality is not illegal under Indonesian law, but the LGBT community has come under pressure recently after government officials expressed reservations last year about activism by its members.
Two men were sentenced to public caning last week in the ultra-conservative province of Aceh on the northern tip of Sumatra island after being convicted of engaging in gay sex. It was the first such ruling since anti-homosexuality laws were introduced in the province in 2014.
Aceh is the only Indonesian province that criminalize same-sex relations and that uses Islamic law as its legal code in addition to the national criminal code.
($1 = 13,302.0000 rupiah)
Reporting by Agustinus Beo da Costa; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Ed Davies and Paul Tait