10 gay men sentenced to up to 3 years in jail for working in a sex club (Image: Michael Coghlan | Flickr)
Indonesian police sentenced at least 10 gay men to up to three years in jail after the raid of a sex club in May.
Out of the people charged, two of them were visitors accused of practising oral sex.
The remaining men worked at the Atlantis spa in Jakarta as managers, strippers, a gym trainer and a security guard, according to the sister of one of the men charged.
She said: ‘This punishment is too heavy because, in fact, what he did is a private behavior that does not harm others.’
The men were charged under anti-pornography laws.
But all of the other men arrested that day have since been released, since homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia.
‘They yelled, “You’re all scum!”‘
One of the gay men arrested that night told his shocking story from jail.
Justin – not his real name – told News Lens: ‘They yelled “You’re all scum!”‘
He said since his arrest, he has felt let down by Indonesia’s LGBTI community. On social media, gay men said he was ‘an idiot’ for getting caught.
‘We talk about a LGBT “community”,’ he said. ‘But we hide. We won’t help each other make our lives better.’
Thankfully Justin’s family have been supportive since arrest, even though they didn’t know he was gay. But he’s worried about his future after he gets out of jail.
‘My mother cried for a few weeks but she’s fine now. I’m still her son,’ he said.
‘When I apply for a job they’re going to Google me and this will come up. I have to fight,’ he said.