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Gay couple arrested in Indonesia for running LGBT Facebook page

Indonesian police raided the couple's home, arrested them and confiscated personal items.

By Fabio Crispim

An Indonesian gay couple was arrested this week by Indonesian police for reportedly running an LGBT Facebook page. 

Police raided a house in Batununggal, West Java, on Thursday (October 18) which was being rented by the couple running the ‘Gay Bandung’ Facebook page

The couple were arrested and police confiscated five mobile phones and 25 condoms, the Straits Times reports. The Facebook page, which has over 4,000 followers of various ages, is still up.

In a statement about the Facebook page, Adjutant Chief Commander Hari Brata, the police’s Special Crimes Deputy Director, said: “They connect and matchmake people who want to make same-sex friendships.” 

According to the Straits Times, this is the first case of criminalisation of homosexual discussions on social media in Indonesia.

However, another LGBT Facebook page caused outrage in the town of Garut, West Java, two weeks ago. The controversy led school administrators to place a ban on LGBT students in schools. 

Meanwhile, the Cianjur regency administration issued a circular this week which ordered that sermons during Friday prayers discuss the “dangers” of homosexuality as a lifestyle.

Homosexuality has never been illegal in Indonesia, but over the recent years, attitudes towards LGBT people have become more extreme, despite the growth in population.