JAKARTA – Police in the conservative province of Aceh have arrested two university students accused of same-sex relations after a raid, LGBT activists confirmed on Friday.
Local residents in Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh, the only province in Indonesia that adheres to the strict code of Islamic Sharia law, broke into the student accommodation on Thursday, confiscated condoms and telephones, and handed them over to the authorities, an activist, who requested anonymity, told EFE.
The arrested students are 21 and 24 years old; one is of Christian Batak ethnicity, while the other is Muslim.
The head of the investigation department of the Religious police, Marzuki, told the local portal Serambi that one of those arrested had admitted to the charges.
The crime of “Liwath,” or sodomy among men, is punishable with up to 100 lashes.
Last year, two men were punished with 83 lashes in public for engaging in same-sex relationships.
At least 527 people have received similar punishments between 2016 and October 2017 for offenses such as gambling, alcohol consumption or adultery, according to the Institute for Reform of Criminal Justice.
NGOs and activists have denounced a recent spike in repression against the LGBT community in Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population.