While reports about Indonesian authorities openly targeting the activities of gay citizens seem to have died down recently (with the exception of Aceh, where two men were caned in July for allegedly engaging in same-sex relations in violation of the region’s sharia-based laws), police in the capital city of Jakarta announced yesterday that they raided a private home due to suspicion that a “gay party” was taking place inside, leading to the arrest of four people on drug charges.
Central Jakarta Police say they raided the private home in Sunter early on Sunday morning at about 1:30am after they received reports from people in the neighborhood.
Twenty-three people were detained by the police but only four were arrested after allegedly being caught with ecstasy.
Polisi sudah mengantongi identitas pemasok narkoba ke klub gay yang digerebek di kawasan Sunter, Jakarta Utara.
“Yes, the fact is that it was an all male party. We are still looking into whether there was any element of prostitution and investigating the flow of money,” said Central Jakarta Deputy Chief of Police Arie Ardian Rishadi during a press conference on Sunday as quoted by Detik.
Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia (except in Aceh), but in recent years police have targeted members of the gay community by conducting raids on gay clubs, spas and get togethers in private venues. In past cases, police have charged some of the people involved with violating Indonesia’s ambiguously worded pornography laws.
But in this case, police only charged the four men they say were caught with illegal narcotics. Also unlike in some past cases, police seem to have taken care not to disseminate the photos and identities of all of those caught in the raid, as they did after their much criticized raid on the Atlantis Spa in Jakarta last year.
Arie said that the four had been charged under Indonesia’s draconian drug laws, meaning they could face up to 6 years for possession and up to 20 years if they were found to be involved in drug dealing.
The Central Jakarta police chief said they were still investigating where the four got their ecstasy although he suspected they came from Kuala Lumpur.