In less than 18 months, An unprecedented wave of police raids, vigilante attacks, and calls for the criminalization of homosexual sex have left many in the country’s LGBT community fearing for their life safety.
“(Gay Indonesians) are exhausted and they’re horrified,” Kyle Knight, a Human Rights Watch researcher with the LGBT rights program, told CNN.
“Even the activists I know who started the very first organizations in the 1980s say they’ve never seen anything like this.”
It’s a dark turn for a country that for decades prided itself on its diverse, heterogeneous society.
The world’s largest Muslim democracy, Indonesia is often considered something of a bulwark of tolerance amid growing conservatism elsewhere in the Islamic world.
But that perception is now shifting, amid increasing verbal attacks on minority groups and the growing implementation of Islamic bylaws by regional governments.In less than two weeks, two young men were seized by vigilantes who burst into their home in Aceh province, then taken to authorities who caned them for having homosexual sex.