Indonesian mayor calls for LGBT raids after UK conviction of serial rapist Reynhard Sinaga, thousands of miles away

Reynhard Sinaga

An Indonesian mayor has reacted to the conviction of Britain’s ‘most prolific rapist,’ Reynhard Sinaga, by calling for LGBT+ raids in the region Sinaga grew up in.

On January 6 the 36-year-old PhD student was found guilty of attacking 48 men, who he would lure from outside of clubs in Manchester to his flat. He was convicted of 159 sex offences, although the total number is believed to be closer to 200.

As many Indonesians express ‘revulsion’ in the wake of their countryman’s conviction, Indonesian LGBT+ activists have urged the public to avoid linking Sinaga’s crimes to his sexuality.

But this was apparently lost on Depok mayor Mohammad Idris, who said he wants to heighten efforts to prevent the “spread of LGBT” in Depok, West Java, where Sinaga’s family reportedly live.

Idris condemned the entire LGBT+ community “in the name of social, moral and religious teachings,” even as he acknowledged that Sinaga’s crime was a “personal problem”, the Jakarta Post reported.

He proposed raids on rooming houses and apartments, as well as preventative measures to “strengthen families’ resilience and especially protect the children.”

“Concerned officials can also form crisis centres in Depok specifically for LGBT victims, as well as approach related institutions to work together in educating the people, especially the people who are pro-LGBT in the name of human rights,” he suggested.

In previous crusades against the LGBT+ community, Idris announced in 2018 that his administration had established an anti-LGBT taskforce and was planning to create anti-LGBT regulation.

The chairman of the Horas Bangso Batak community that Reynhard Sinaga comes from said his actions had hurt and shamed the community, and that his crimes made it seem like the Bataks were sexual deviants.

“That is not true, and honestly we are very ashamed of Reynhard Sinaga’s actions. His actions do not reflect the behaviour of Batak people,” he said.

Indonesia’s cabinet secretary Pramono Agung also denounced Sinaga’s crimes, saying that he had tarnished Indonesia’s global reputation.

Even Sinaga’s own father has distanced himself, saying that his son “got what he deserved.” He told the BBC on Tuesday: “We accept the verdict. His punishment fits his crimes. I don’t want to discuss the case any further.”