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metro
Indonesian mayor orders anti-LGBT raids in wake of Reynhard Sinaga rape case

Indonesian mayor orders anti-LGBT raids in wake of Reynhard Sinaga rape case

metro - 1 year ago
Reynhard Sinaga
Media coverage of Reynhard Sinaga’s conviction has sparked a crackdown in his homeland (Picture: Police Handout)

Anti-LGBT raids have been ordered across the hometown of an Indonesian student branded Britains most prolific rapist.

Reynhard Sinaga, 36, came to the UK in 2007 and lived in Manchester city centre for more than a decade while studying various university courses.

He targeted as many as 200 young men, luring them back to his flat before drugging them and then filming himself sexually assaulting them as they lay unconscious.

Sinaga was jailed for life with a minimum of 30 years earlier this month.

Widespread media reporting of the case has since sparked Mohammad Idris, mayor of the city of Depok in West Java, to instruct police to carry out searches to stamp out what he described as immoral acts.

Mr Idris labelled the crackdown a prevention toward the spread of LGBT, The Telegraph reported.

News of the raids were met with outrage from human rights groups including Amnesty International, who said it was part of a wider vicious campaign of harassment of LGBTI people in the country.

Reynhard Sinaga, 36, who has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 30 years for committing 159 offences, including 136 rapes, appearing in the dock at Manchester Crown Court. January 6 2019.
Sinaga was jailed for life for 159 offences, including 136 rapes (Picture: Julia Quenzler/SWNS)

Usman Hamid, Amnesty International Indonesias Executive Director, told the newspaper: Same-sex relations are protected under international law and there can be no justification for these hateful raids.

He added: The authorities in Indonesia repeatedly launch humiliating crackdowns on suspected same-sex activity, and misuse laws against loitering or public nuisance to harass and arrest LGBTI people.

Indonesias National Commission on Human Rights chief Beka Ulung Hapsara said the raids increase the risk of persecution and other law-defying acts.

There has been a rise in the number of arrests in relation to presumed sexuality or gender identity since 2016 and it is feared the authorities will seek to use Sinagas case to justify further reprisals.

A 2018 survey revealed nine in 10 Indonesians who understand the term LGBT feel threatened by the community and believe their religion forbids same-sex relations.

Arus Pelangi, an LGBT advocacy group, reported in September more than 1,800 cases of persecution of gay Indonesians between 2006 and 2017.

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