In Indonesia, more than 50 people were arrested at a sauna in Jakarta last Friday, based on their perceived sexual orientation.While many have since been released, four men and one woman were charged under Indonesia’s vague “Law on Pornography”, which has been used to arrest people for consensual same-sex relations.Charges include “habitual debauchery”, “inciting indecency and debauchery”, and “joining a banned group”.At least 10 men have been sentenced to between one and six years’ imprisonment, most others detainees are awaiting trial, and a few have been released.The trials, which are being conducted by four judges, began on Monday at a civilian court set up at a military base and detention centre at Kanji in Niger state.The trials are being held behind closed doors with the media and public excluded.Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville Location: Geneva Date: 13 October 2017(1) Azerbaijan, Egypt and Indonesia / LGBT We are deeply concerned by a wave of arrests in Azerbaijan, Egypt and Indonesia of more than 180 people perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) – many of whom have reportedly been mistreated by law enforcement officials.
In many cases, due process rights appear to have been violated.
However, given the number of people who are due to be tried over the coming weeks - some 2,300 – we have serious concerns that the conduct of the proceedings may deny the defendants the right to a fair trial and an effective defence.
The accused, who have all been charged under Nigeria’s Prevention of Terrorism Act, are being tried individually or in groups depending on the nature of their alleged crimes.
Azerbaijan, Egypt and Indonesia should take immediate action to release anyone detained on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, drop charges based on vaguely worded and discriminatory laws, and should repeal such laws in line with their legal obligations under international law and long-standing United Nations recommendations.
They should also release immediately all those detained for legitimately exercising their right to freedom of expression.