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Indonesia arrests 141 over 'gay party'

BBC News logo BBC News 22/05/2017
This photo taken on April 30, 2017 shows Indonesian police parading a group of men arrested for allegedly holding a 'gay party' in Surabaya, the second biggest city in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority country. Officers busted 14 men holding the party in two hotel rooms in Surabaya, around midnight on April 29.: Earlier this month police made similar arrests in the city of Surabaya © AFP Earlier this month police made similar arrests in the city of Surabaya

Indonesian police have arrested 141 men attending what they called a "gay sex party" at a sauna in the capital Jakarta late on Sunday.

Police said attendees, including a Briton and a Singaporean, paid 185,000 rupees ($14; £10) to attend.

Indonesia has witnessed increasing hostility towards its small and low-profile LGBTQ community.

Homosexuality is not illegal under Indonesian law, except in conservative Aceh province.

But Jakarta police spokesman Raden Argo Yuwono said some of those detained could be charged under Indonesia's harsh anti-pornography laws.

"There were gay people who were caught strip-teasing and masturbating in the scene," he told BBC Indonesian.

In this photo taken on February 23, 2016 shows anti-LGBT Muslim group marching to blockade pro-LGBT protesters in Yogyakarta, in Java island.: Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesian except in ultra-conservative Aceh province © AFP Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesian except in ultra-conservative Aceh province

Under the ambiguously-worded laws putting on a live strip show for the enjoyment of the public could be construed as "pornography".

Last week, two men were sentenced to public caning in Aceh after being convicted for engaging in gay sex - in the first such ruling since tough anti-homosexuality laws were introduced there in 2014.

Earlier this month, Indonesian police arrested 14 people in the city of Surabaya for allegedly holding a gay party. They could also face charges under anti-pornography laws.

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