BANDA ACEH, Indonesia/JAKARTA, Dec 28 (Reuters) – Overwhelmed by fear, members of the main gay rights group in the Indonesian town of Banda Aceh started burning piles of documents outside their headquarters in late October, worried that the sharia police would raid them at any moment.
Indonesia’s northernmost province of Aceh had weeks earlier passed an anti-homosexuality law that punishes anyone caught having gay sex with 100 lashes. Amnesty International criticized it, saying it would add to a climate of homophobia and fear.
“We are more afraid, of course,” said a 31-year-old transgender person who, along with three other members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) group, Violet Grey, burned the pamphlets, group records and other papers.
“As an institution, Violet Grey went as far as removing all documents related to LGBT. We burned them all,” said the group member, who declined to be identified out of fear of being arrested.