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28 Dec 2017

Indonesian Authorities Arrest 'Unprecedented Numbers' of Gay Men

The crackdown has included raids on bars, saunas, hotels and private residences.

A 25-year-old Indonesian man was sentenced last week to more than two years in prison for violating the country's anti-pornography statute, the New York Times reported.

Steven Handoko has been in detention since May, after he and 140 men were arrested in Jakarta's now-closed Atlantis Gym as a striptease took place on stage. Photos of the men—naked—were taken by police officers and later posted on social media.

Mass arrests of gay men in Indonesia have become more prominent since late 2016. The most recent roundup occurred as recently as October, in a gay sauna; fifty men were detained. The numbers of those arrested over the last year—now in the hundreds—are unprecedented, according to the New York Times. The crackdown has been attributed to growing influence of right-wing religious groups in the country.

Most of those initially detained have been released without suffering criminal charges, but many describe having been humiliated on social media in a country where being gay is widely misunderstood.

Ade Armando, a professor who contributed to the writing of the anti-pornography law that has been cited in justifying the arrests, said that the raids were an abuse of the statute, particularly those that have taken place in hotels and private residences.

"It is not fair. It is not right what the police are doing there," Armando told the New York Times.

Reader's Comments

1. 2017-12-28 18:14  
So, I googled Steven's name. I didn't find anything from the Indonesian police or government. Lots of media content relating to this story however. He wants to be a journalist anyway.....

Looks like he's set for life :)
2. 2017-12-28 19:13  
Anti-Gay Marriage = supporting pornography
because gay couple who are engage in marriage will focus on family, not pornography.

If no Pornography, what is Law contribution for people safety?

If There raid, why gays cover face as if agree with sentence.It was not realistic.
Look People doing terror, are they cover face?
Look at law maker, are they covering face? because everybody having own Law.

If you able to execute then Total heterosexual is crime.
Will Heterosexual cover their face?

Gay must learn to be Realistic. Never cover face by sentence.
Comment edited on 2017-12-28 19:13:45
3. 2017-12-28 19:15  
all gay poeple shouldjust not visit jakarta dont give them your money thats the best way to prove your point let the straight poeple have the homophobic country
4. 2017-12-28 20:55  
Couldn’t agree more with #3.
5. 2017-12-28 23:50  
Anti Gay Marriage = Anti Honesty = Supporting Lie
Comment edited on 2017-12-28 23:51:24
6. 2017-12-28 23:51  
3,4, I think I'll do whatever I like so long as it doesn't affect anyone else. That holds for gay or straight or anyone.
7. 2017-12-29 01:48  
GT..we all know you’ll do whatever your anti gay self loathing self wants to do, regardless.
8. 2017-12-29 02:34  
7: Not just self loathing. Loathes everything, apparently.

As to the story; the idea of boycotting is really about the only thing we can do that will have any effect and I doubt it will amount to much. As an anti-theist, I just see the evil hands of religion at work again.
9. 2017-12-29 06:52  
7, yeah, I'm against self loathing. So what? I'm not sure how me being gay makes an iota of difference.

It's always surprising to me how people don't realise they have their own destinies in their hands yet look to others for guidance.
10. 2017-12-29 06:54  
8, blaming religion is yet another excuse to do nothing?
11. 2017-12-29 09:18  
Boycotting is something Realistic, adultery and Psychological Health as Religions boycotting gay marriage
Comment edited on 2017-12-29 09:25:06
12. 2017-12-29 09:22  
Why no Lesbian nor Trans who give comment?
Comment edited on 2017-12-29 09:22:28
13. 2017-12-29 15:22  
Never going there... backwards country why bother!
14. 2017-12-29 15:39  
Gay marriage regarded as harmful , that mean boycotting gay marriage. generosity become invalid.
Anti-gay marriage of religions by any reasons= Anti-Love
that is realistic that must be noted
Since Love against Crime, so who is doing crime actually?
Who cheating you then?
seem that cheating is core of some Religions Concept...that is evident Data for everyone consciousness

That is History you should note and never forget
that should be holly book

Comment edited on 2017-12-29 16:00:55
15. 2017-12-29 16:09  
God Created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steven
And Adam Fall into Sin by Woman (Eva)
Conclusion = Woman is source / mother/Cause Prime for All Sins /Evil
Comment edited on 2017-12-29 16:11:14
16. 2017-12-29 16:23  
Conclusion = Woman is source / mother/Cause Prime for All Sins /Evil
Will women get hard Curse and sent to Hell? is there bravery or impotent, why? Alliance with Evil?
17. 2017-12-29 16:41  
what is concept to build/birth new country?
Is there selling Gun / weapon access to protect ourselves? since there are so many races in indonesia want freedom because they have own identity.

who will supply?
will Indonesia become 2nd syria?
Comment edited on 2017-12-29 16:56:33
18. 2017-12-30 04:09  
My stance for a long has been in favor of boycotting this area and get your governments involved in the boycotting as well. More pressure from tourist and governments alike well cause change.
19. 2017-12-30 07:43  
18, it certainly works in North Korea,etc.


Well, I won't be visiting the usa for a while either.
20. 2017-12-30 13:38  
Will never understand why people even bothering to visit places like these, sure they have such rich history and beautiful landscapes. But the people are so incredibly backward and authoritarian. It's sad, Indonesia and Malaysia have now turned into almost regime like with their laws.
21. 2017-12-30 20:13  
No one boycotts NK, don’t be silly. Everyone knows your life is at risk to visit there.
I’m sure the USA won’t miss any cowards who refuse to show their face, and keep recycling the same tired butt pic year after year after year of attacking any and all gay issues.
22. 2017-12-30 20:53  
Indonesia consist of about 13,000 islands,

What happened if every single Island want freedom because of boycotting and sanction effect ? and how they will execute their desire? No Weapon, No Weapon Access, and no weapon Training?

What will Local Leaders and many element/include Religions Elements do?
Comment edited on 2017-12-30 21:04:34
23. 2017-12-30 21:40  
Missunderstanding reading Hollybook because of Evil inside Religion Leaders Soul.

God Created Human Man and Woman ---That is wrong and egocentric of Evil because there are gays in reality.


God Created Human by Man and woman Element -- that is correct, although there will be possibility in future that Human created from Man only

Comment edited on 2017-12-30 21:50:00
24. 2017-12-30 21:55  
What Happened if 13,000 islands in Indonesia ask for Revolution and become independent Countries respectively?
Specially for women that having no legacy of Freedom based on honesty of Hollybooks content and not based on Political Ally / coalition due to higher population of woman to bargain Politics Power
What Chaos entertainment will be?
Comment edited on 2017-12-30 22:02:40
25. 2017-12-31 00:17  
21, please be compassionate to Mr. cheeky butt: even trolls are human beings (hmm, is that true?) The best course is to ignore him: don't feed the troll!

About boycott, I don't see how a boycott by the foreign gay community will make any difference in Indonesia: they will just laugh it off, and perhaps turn it against the Indonesian gay community as an extra "foreign plot" argument. If you want to do activism, you should really consult local gay groups and ask them what they need from foreigners, if anything. I think there is little for now else than observe these heart-wrenching developments. In the 80es, Indonesia was one of the most gay-friendly countries of the region - even though it was under Suharto. I think the only hope for positive change is if the Supreme Court of India finally decriminalises homosexuality - then it MAY have a ripple effect in the rest of Asia. As long as pro-LGBT stands come only from the West, it is all too easy for local leaders to blame "Western perversion" and to link it to former Western colonialism.
26. 2017-12-31 02:52  
21, so that's two posts attacking me from yourself? It's a shame your command of written English is so poor.

for your education (boy do you need it):

(btw, face pics have always been available on my profile.)
27. 2017-12-31 04:35  
I understand your position on this issue drelin and I agree in part.
I feel, however, any stance against Indonesia's marginalization and intolerance to homosexuality will add more awareness and will help in making positive change.
More governments should be condemning the Indonesian government on their hostile and social injustice towards the LGBT community.
If the world stands by and does or says nothing then their silence can be misconstrued as agreeing with these homophobic religious zealots.
28. 2017-12-31 04:48  
GTiLad - Once again I must point out just how lame you are. In your first posting on this article you claim to not have found anything about him. I used two different sites and found not only an interview with him while in prison, but also an article from an Indonesian paper (Ini Kronologi Penggerebekan Pesta Seks di Kelapa Gading,Tangkap 141 Kaum Gay) with info on the arrests with Steven named, along with others, as well as photos. Guess you didn't try very hard. That or you are the biggest troll on this site.
29. 2017-12-31 06:10  
28, I did not claim that I didn't find anything about him. Why can't you read and comprehend? And you call me lame?

It's great to know that you found an interview with him in prison and a newspaper article, and nothing from the Indonesian police or government, as this just backs up my point (which you missed). Priceless posting once again! Are you related to Trump? :)

fancy a covfefe?
30. 2017-12-31 07:36  
HappyWilly, I agree that institutional homophobia in Indonesia should be condemned by our governments. This is a job for our LGBT activist NGOs, to pressure our own governments to achieve this.

But it won't make much difference: Indonesia is too big to be pushed around.

The NYT quotes Mr. Armando as saying: “It is not fair. It is not right what the police are doing there,” “Hotels are private places. The pornography law does not apply.”

This is scary: he didn't dare say "It is illegal". Another extract:

Mr. Handoko said his family hired a lawyer chosen by the police, and he entered a guilty plea that was essentially a carbon copy of the prosecution’s charges. A sister of Mr. Handoko, who asked not to be identified because she feared repercussions at her workplace, said the family had cooperated in hopes of a lenient sentence.

“We were worried that the court would be like quicksand,” she said. “The more you struggle, the quicker you sink.”

This is Indonesia for you. 20 years after the overthrow of Suharto.

Happy New Year 2018.
31. 2017-12-31 11:09  
Unfortunately, Gay indonesia are weak, they do not have higher desire, they are very weak, especially Trans. They also do not know Psychology and Law as i saw LGBT in NGO because i am not part of NGO, just solo.

Many Indonesia LGBT just blind and unable to analyst data although i saw their profile position in Monitoring but Level of it just low.

As you saw, when there was raid. All Gays cover their face. For me, it indicate that all of them Really do not know reality, Law, weak, etc.

I can not teach them more, because I am not activist. I just single fighter and not belong to any organization
Comment edited on 2017-12-31 11:11:24
32. 2017-12-31 11:13  
Is it possible for Indonesia Spring?
33. 2017-12-31 12:07  
Every of 13,000 Islands in Indonesia should be asked on what they want and get offering on how to make their desire come true.

All Island must have Weapon supply.
As I hear that some people and Religion groups will sacrifice to die for sovereignty, it is good news and entertainment that we will see them die and see them in Hell.
so, we will see Live real movie of War without need going to cinema.

It will reduce population and reduce Climate Change.
Comment edited on 2017-12-31 12:23:01
34. 2017-12-31 12:19  
For me, Police that raid Gay sauna, gay bar in indonesia was illegal because Gay already prohibit , Warn, and not welcome them.

we need Law that woman and man marriage is not always legal but having restriction.

I had asked society, If man get marriage with woman and they do heterosexual, will this always regarded as Holly? and i got answer, that they disagree for some heterosexual behavior.
Even Heterosexual behavior may regard as Sin. Think about that, Can you? do you have innovation?

What Limit category that Heterosexual is legal?
35. 2017-12-31 20:26  
if you face alone then indonesia is too big, that the principle
and what do you mean about Indonesia? Island? government? certain community or what?

How about Gays, are they counted as Indonesia? because gays don't get freedom to marry.

How about others citizen that ask for freedom and revolution? are they counted as Indonesia too?
Comment edited on 2017-12-31 21:46:38
36. 2017-12-31 21:55  
Persecution by Authority does not address to gay only
by this point, you know that Authority target/enemy is larger community by different kinds of persecution
Comment edited on 2017-12-31 21:59:44
37. 2017-12-31 22:21  
yeah, but we all love you botwildfck, so you'll never be persecuted. Sad but true. Oh, that's persecution!

Don't fear, for I will defend your right to be persecuted.
38. 2017-12-31 23:32  
By the way, in Fridae's travel section on Jakarta:


there is absolutely no mention of these facts. It is not even said that the Atlantis Gym was closed down!
39. 2018-01-01 06:39  
Drelin you have proven my point somewhat; even Fridae doesn't boycott it because they are making money off ignoring it. I was at a Christmas party the other day and I was talking with a retired gay fellow that was well traveled and he told me that he just loved Bali; the people were so nice and the problems with the LGBT community was not, in his opinion, a real big issue. I was taken back by his indifference/ignorance of the situation going on there.
Obviously, we need more discussion/education in our own LGBT community. I know if just LGBT people refuse to travel or do business there, it will not be enough. It has to be people of money/power and governments that will force change but something has to be done because this will only get worse, not better. These hating fanatics are just emboldened by the lack of denouncing and repercussion from the global community towards these crimes that are happening against the LGBT community in Indonesia.
Overall I do see your point and it has validity.
I would like to wish you and everyone out there a Happy New Year and may enlightenment and enrichment reach more people this next year. May the winds be at your back!
Comment edited on 2018-01-01 06:49:41
40. 2018-01-01 07:51  
An interesting misquote Willy :). May we all be a little more enlightened this coming new year.
41. 2018-01-01 11:57  
discussion should not only by online but offline, because there are Cyber Police patrol,Spy, those who want to be master of information, those who steal and hunt news, news oligarchy, and kinds of. some member of cyber patrol police is part of LGBT...i think B that get bribe

Comment edited on 2018-01-01 12:03:44
42. 2018-01-01 18:16  
41, we all know it's beings from other worlds that control our governments.

Man should never have gone to the moon. This is what upset them.

Oh, we never landed on the moon?
43. 2018-01-01 21:47  
Indonesia just focus on Foreign affair, as if Gay is not Indonesia citizen, many races and islands habitat regarded are not citizen
Money spends too much just for foreigner affair

If Gays do not regarded as citizen that having right to be respected, so what citizen are gays?

Government do not focus on domestic issue such as unemployment rate, health, etc.
What happened if basic goods increase higher?

No protest from Society due to inflation and many thing missing because society seem do not understand, perhaps not enough education that they are deserve to be honored.

Many gays also do not know that Heterosexual is not absolutely correct, but having notes and limitation

Is God homosexual or heterosexual or neutral gender? male or female or what?

Comment edited on 2018-01-01 22:01:58
44. 2018-01-01 22:17  
Is Indonesia spend fund for Terrorism? anyone able to do analysis?
Why no spend fund for Gays?

Perhaps citizen do not ask for more? or get hypnotism or Therapy by regime?

Why No Gay and many islands citizen Chanting for Death of regime?
Comment edited on 2018-01-01 22:30:40

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