Rights group criticises raid on 'lesbians' in Indonesia


Twelve Indonesian women believed to be lesbians, who were last week evicted from their homes by police, had their human rights violated, a rights group said on Wednesday. 

Police in the district of Bogor, south of Jakarta, raided the homes of six "lesbian couples" on Saturday and ordered them to relocate after locals complained that their cohabitation violated Islamic teachings.

"What's most offensive about this incident is that police and government officials steamrolled privacy rights and rule of law to appease the bigotry of a few neighbours," said Andreas Harsono, a researcher at Human Rights Watch (HRW). 

The raid was led by the village chief and a police commissioner, the group claimed. 

"It's not acceptable to have female couples living together," HRW quoted an unnamed village official as saying. 

Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, the world's most-populous Muslim-majority country, but sexual minorities have increasingly come under attack. 

In May, police in Jakarta raided a gay club and arrested 141 people, including four foreigners, on suspicion of involvement in gay prostitution. Most were released the next day.    (dpa)

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