Indonesian MP says death penalty should be introduced for LGBTQ people

An Indonesian MP has said that he believes LGBTQ+ people should be sentenced to death or a life in prison for their acts.

Muslim Ayub made the comments as the Indonesian House of Representatives debated on amendments to the criminal code which would criminalise gay and pre-marital sex.

A group of Muslim protesters march with banners against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Banda Aceh on Decmber 27, 2017. There has been a growing backlash against Indonesia's small lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community over the past year, with ministers, hardliners and influential Islamic groups lining up to make anti-LGBT statements in public. / AFP PHOTO / Chaideer MAHYUDDIN (Photo credit should read CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP/Getty Images)


Representing his party, the Islamist National Mandate Party (PAN), Ayub said that the proposed law should punish same-sex relations with capital punishment.

He added that he wanted those who “promote LGBTQ behaviour” to also face criminal penalties.

Speaking to Jurnalia Indonesia, Ayub said that he and his party would not stop at criminalising gay sex as they feel the whole LGBTQ+ community should face persecution.

“We were not satisfied. We want a death sentence or a lifetime jail sentence to have a deterrent effect on the LGBT (community),” he said.

Ayub is the representative of the Aceh province in Indonesia.

TAKENGON, INDONESIA: An Acehnese executor flogs a convicted woman in Takengon, in Indonesian central Aceh province, 19 August 2005 after an Islamic sharia court ordered four women to be flogged for petty gambling offences. The public lashing was the second since the Indonesian government allowed the western province to implement religious law as part of broader autonomy granted in 2001 to curb a separatist Islamist insurgency. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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It is the only province which follows Sharia law – making it the only place currently in Indonesia where it is illegal to be gay.

Political figureheads projected that the proposed legislation which would criminalise gay sex would be in place by February 14.

However, it is now facing a delay as MPs fight for amendments to be made.

The UN human rights commissioner warned the country that it must stop its crackdown on the LGBTQ community and protect the minority from rising intolerance in the country earlier this week.

Speaking in Jakarta, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said that Indonesia had a progressive track record when it came to human rights, but that it’s failures to the LGBTQ community could be damaging.

He said: “The hateful rhetoric against this community that is being cultivated seemingly for cynical political purposes will only deepen their suffering and create unnecessary divisions.

GiveOut is aiming to eliminate the violence in countries where the LGBTQI community is not accepted (Photo credit should read CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP/Getty Images)


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“Indonesia has since 1998 managed to transition to democracy and couple it with strong economic growth.

“At a time when it is consolidating its democratic gains, we urge Indonesians to move forward – not backwards – on human rights.

“There are some dark clouds on the horizon but … I hope the common sense and strong tradition of tolerance of the Indonesian people will prevail over populism and political opportunism,” he added.

Al Hussein’s comments after the government carried out a number of raids and arrests on LGBTQ people.

The Indonesian Supreme Court narrowly blocked a similar measure from passing last month, but it seems that was only a temporary reprieve.

Indonesian authorities faced global criticism last month after they arrested 12 transgender women in Aceh and shaved their heads in an effort “to turn them into men”.

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Related: UN human rights commissioner warns Indonesia over crackdown on LGBTQ community

Authorities also dressed the trans women in stereotypically male clothing, in the raid which was called “operasi penyakit masyarakat,” which translates as “community sickness operation”.

North Aceh Regency Police Chief Ahmad Untung Surianata said the 12 trans detainees were part of a “social disease” and had been taken to police headquarters, where they would be coached “until they really become men.”

Untung said that “the officers also nurtured them by way of having them run for some time and telling them to chant loudly until their male voices came out.”

The police chief added that the operation was carried out to stop an increase in LGBT people in Aceh, which he said would be dangerous for the next generation of Indonesians.

“There were mothers who came crying to me, worried about their children,” he told Indonesian publication Kompas.

“This is not right, and we hope this social disease can be resolved.”