Indonesia rights body slams LGBT raids after UK rapist case

Indonesia’s human rights body on Tuesday slammed a crackdown on the LGBT community in a city that was once home to a man described as Britain’s most prolific rapist.

Last week, a judge in Manchester sentenced Indonesian doctoral student Reynhard Sinaga, 36, to life in prison and called him an “evil sexual predator” who preyed on drunken young men on nights out.

The court heard he may have attacked as many as 195 men, luring them into his flat with the offer of a place to stay or alcohol.

The lurid case sparked revulsion in Sinaga’s native Indonesia and the mayor of Depok, where he lived before going to Britain, has ordered raids against the city’s small LGBT community.

Indonesia’s rights commission Tuesday hit out at mayor Mohammad Idris’s plans as contravening domestic and international rights laws.

“Komnas HAM are also concerned about the obligation of state institutions to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of all citizens, including sexual and gender identity minority groups,” it said in a statement Tuesday.

The mayor’s office did not immediately comment.

Homosexuality is legal in Muslim majority Indonesia, except in Aceh province where it is banned under local Islamic law. 

But the country’s LGBT community has increasingly been targeted in recent years on the back of a broader shift towards religious conservatism.

Idris has previously launched anti-LGBT measures since taking office several years ago.

But he cited the Sinaga case for the latest policy, which was aimed at “strengthening the family, especially the protection of children”, according to a statement on the city’s website.

Sinaga lived in Depok, near Jakarta, before moving to Manchester on a student visa more than a decade ago.

He was found guilty of 159 offences, including 136 rapes and eight attempted rapes, at four separate trials, according to the Crown Prosecution Service, making him “the most prolific rapist in British legal history”.