Indonesia: govt job ad bars LGBTs as gay couple arrested over Facebook picture

Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia

Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia

Rising state intolerance against LGBT people in Indonesia shows no signs of abating.

On Thursday, the BBC reported that an Indonesian government job advert for a youth ambassador explicitly told LGBT people not to apply.

According to the youth and sports ministry advert, applicants must be “someone physically and mentally healthy who is not involved in… LGBT [activities]”.

It also states that a doctor’s certificate is required to prove that individuals are not involved in “sexually deviant behaviour”.

AFP also reported on Friday that a gay couple had been arrested after they posted a photo on Facebook showing them kissing.

The couple – a 22-year-old university student and a 24-year-old office worker – were arrested in the city of Manado earlier this week.

“The couple admitted it’s them in the picture and they posted the picture to prove their love,” said a police spokesman.

Facebook has subsequently removed the picture following online outrage and a complaint by the communications and information technology ministry.

The men may be charged with posting pornographic content online, although it is unclear how explicit the image actually was.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, has alarmed human rights observers over the past year with a series of attacks against LGBT people.

Since January, local government and education officials have called for discriminatory anti-LGBT measures, including suggesting bans on LGBT student groups on university campuses and ordering police to halt an HIV outreach event for gay and bisexual men.

Communication and broadcasting bureaucrats recently moved to block any LGBT content in the media and have ordered social media and messaging apps to remove same-sex themed emoticons from their services or be banned from the country.

The Indonesian Psychiatrists’ Association has also affirmed that it still views homosexuality as a mental disorder, while officials have made a number of alarming comments. This includes a mayor stating that not breastfeeding infants could cause them to become LGBT and Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu claiming that LGBT people are threat to the country and its sovereignty.

Homosexuality is legal in Indonesia, except for Muslims in the Aceh province. The national government allowed the province to introduce a by-law through which Muslims found guilty of homosexuality face up to 100 lashes and up to 100 months in prison.

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