Indonesian soldier gets 6 months in prison over gay sex

Photo illustration
Photo illustration

An Indonesian soldier has been sent to prison for having gay sex with multiple men, it has been reported, after documents from his appeal became public recently.

The unnamed soldier, who joined the Indonesian Military (TNI) in 2018, was sentenced to six months in prison and dishonorably discharged by the Surabaya Military Court on July 29, 2021. The soldier subsequently filed an appeal with the Surabaya Military High Court, which upheld the sentence today.

In his trial, the court heard that the soldier engaged in separate sexual relations with five male soldiers between 2018 and 2019, and with three civilians throughout 2017 before he joined the force. He also filmed his sexual encounters with his partners.

Gay sex is not illegal in Indonesia, but the courts found that the soldier violated morality clauses contained in telegrams issued by military chiefs in 2009 and 2019. These clauses strictly prohibit military personnel from committing “sexual perversions,” such as being involved in LGBT relationships.

The violations were enough to deem the soldier guilty of disobedience and violation of service orders under the Military Criminal Code, which were used to justify his imprisonment and discharge.

It’s not clear at this point if his sexual partners in the military would also face similar punishments.

In 2020, a soldier was sentenced to one year in prison for having sex with another man and thus violating the same morality clauses. Military chiefs then used the case to reiterate their firm stance against “deviant” LGBT individuals within the force.

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