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Trans woman doused in petrol and burned alive by mob in Indonesia

Police announced on Wednesday (8 April) that the suspects will not face murder charges.

2020-04-09

A transgender woman has been doused in petrol and burned alive by a mob in Indonesia.

The 43-year-old victim died on Sunday from injuries suffered in the horrific attack the day before (4 April), Indonesian media reported this week.

According to reports, the woman had been confronted by a large group and accused of stealing. When no possessions were found on her, they doused her in petrol and set her on fire.

Despite identifing six suspects and arresting three of them, police in Jakarta said on Wednesday (8 April) that the group would not face murder charges as they didn't believe the woman had been set on fire intentionally, NBC News reports.

Instead the suspects could be charged with physical violence, which carries a lesser maximum sentence of 12 years.

Usman Ham, Amnesty International Indonesia’s Executive Director, urged Indonesian authorities to properly investigate the case.

“This despicable murder must be investigated urgently. It would not be the first time that LGBTI people in Indonesia have been violently targeted simply for who they are", Mr Ham said.

“Without prompt action from the authorities to cast light on this horrifying crime and bring perpetrators to justice, transgender people in Indonesia will feel even further neglected and vilified by their government.

“The authorities must also take this appalling murder as a wake-up call and repeal its laws that criminalise specific gender identities.”

Transgender people in Indonesia are known as 'waria', a portmanteau of the Indonesian words for 'man' and 'woman'.

While generally more accepted than gay, lesbian and bisexual people, transgender people in Indonesia have also witnessed increased hostility and repression over the last few years, the the government continues to crack down on the country's LGBTQ community.

Same-sex sexual activity is currently legal in all parts of Indonedia except those governed under Islamis Sharia law, such as Aceh province.

However, public and state-sponsored persecution of LGBTQ people remains widepsread, and in February it was reported that a proposed government bill was seeking to outlaw homosexuality across the country, which is home to around 270 million people.