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Court rejects legal challenge from gay policeman

Court rejects legal challenge from gay policeman

Two Indonesian police officers on patrol (Photo: Wikipedia)

A court in Indonesia last week rejected a lawsuit by a policeman who claimed he was fired for being gay.

Known as Brigadier TT,  the 30-year-old says he was dishonorably discharged due to his sexuality in 2017.

He attempted to take the Central Java force to court over the dismissal.

But, on Friday (24 May), a judge rejected his case, arguing that the former policeman should have filed a case immediately following his dismissal.

TT’s attorney, Ma’ruf Majammal, said they were considering appealing the decision. ‘This will not stop’ he said according to Detik.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, except for in one state with sharia law.

But, since 2016, Islamic fundamentalism has fueled anti-LGBTI rhetoric and policies from the nation’s leaders.

Police reportedly arrested Brigadier TT in 2017 under suspicion of extortion.

‘But during the interrogation, [TT] was instead questioned about his sexual orientation, which they said was deviant. There is actually no such thing as a deviant sexual orientation. [TT] only has a sexual orientation that puts him in the minority,” TT’s attorney, Ma’ruf Bajammal, told Suara.

An ethics committee ruled to dishonorably discharge him in October that year.

Employers formally ejected him from the force In December 2018. He had served for 10 years.

National Police Spokesperson Dedi Prasetyo defended the decision.

It was a police officer’s duty to adhere to ‘legal norms and observe religious norms, polite behavior, moral standards, as well as uphold human rights’ he told Suara.

LGBTI life in Indonesia

Muslim-majority Indonesia is one of the worst places to be gay in Asia.

Religious and political leaders have been whipping up hatred against the LGBTI community for the last three years.

The crackdown has seen police raids on LGBTI clubs and saunas, publications, and even HIV charities.

While there is no national law against gay sex, authorities have introduced local by-laws to drive out their LGBTI populations or used archaic pornography laws to prosecute.

That’s why most remain in the closet, living in fear.