JAKARTA, Indonesia — A rights group is calling on the Indonesian government to immediately investigate a raid by police and village leaders that forced 12 women described as lesbians out of their community.
Human Rights Watch said Wednesday that the Sept. 2 raid and eviction in West Java province’s Tugu Jaya village violated rights to privacy, non-discrimination and basic due process.
Homosexuality is not illegal in Muslim-majority Indonesia, but anti-gay discrimination has increased since early 2016 when officials began calling for society to reject LGBT individuals.
The country faced international condemnation in May when two men were publicly flogged in conservative Aceh province for gay sex after vigilantes broke into their home and reported them to Shariah police.
The rights group says the raid of the women’s homes in Tugu Jaya came after local Islamic youth groups and religious leaders complained that their cohabitation was against the teachings of Islam.
“What’s most offensive about this incident is that police and government officials steamrolled privacy rights and rule of law to appease the bigotry of a few neighbors,” it said.