Seven months in prison for having sex with another man. It is the sentence imposed on an Indonesian soldier, the armed forces of this country of Southeast Asia prohibiting homosexual relations.
The 29-year-old soldier based in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, was also expelled from the military, according to a military court ruling dated July 15 released this week.
Seen as an “attack on the reputation of the army”
“The accused had been warned by his superiors that all LGBT behavior was prohibited (…) but he persisted”, indicates the 71-page document. Sexual relations between people of the same sex “are considered as deviant sexual behavior (…) and damage the reputation of the army”, it is specified. The court decision includes a description of the soldier’s relationship with another soldier who was called as a witness in this case.
In July, a sailor from the Indonesian naval forces had already been sentenced to five months in prison for having sex with another soldier.
At least 15 soldiers and police officers already convicted of similar facts
The NGO Amnesty International said last year that at least 15 soldiers and police officers had been dismissed from their posts for having sex with a person of the same sex in recent years in the country.
Homosexuality, prohibited by military regulations, remains legal in Indonesia, a country with the largest Muslim population in the world. But Indonesians in the LGBT community face a lot of discrimination and some have been arrested under an anti-pornography law.
In the Indonesian province of Aceh, the only one to follow Sharia, Islamic law, same-sex sex is punishable by flogging.
In Vietnam, homosexuality is slowly getting rid of the taboo that surrounds it