The Indonesian city of Depok has announced it will set up a “taskforce” to control the activities of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The move comes amid a nationwide crackdown on sexual minorities and increasing reports of harassment of the LGBT community.
Deputy mayor of Depok, Muhammad Idris, announced the plan on Monday February 20. The taskforce will consist of 200 members including police officers, social service workers and religious leaders. Idris hopes this would “anticipate the spread of LGBT” among young people.
The increasingly hostile environment for the LGBT community reflects fears of the growing Islamisation of the Muslim-majority nation.
In Depok, Muhammad Idris stressed that the creation of the new taskforce was for religious rather than legal reasons, because of the threat to religious morality.
“We have created an integrated team to handle LGBT, we will collaborate with police and mass organisations,” he said in an interview at the Depok City Hall.
“Religion has agreed that LGBT acts are forbidden, so legally we will overcome this problem so that it will not spread,” Idris said.
Depok is not the first place to instigate an LGBT taskforce. Last May, police in Indonesia’s most populous province of West Java deployed a similar team, where police chief Anton Charliyan said in an interview in Bandung that LGBT people suffered a “disease of the body and soul”.
Photos courtesy of Reuters and Kompas