A paramilitary group in Indonesia attacked a group of dancers for promoting LGBTI content.
A video of the violence spread on social media. In it, a dozen men beat a group of dancers. The dancers are a university lecturer and three students from Tanjungpura University, in Pontianak, West Indonesia. They were celebrating World Dance Day on 29 April.
The police eventually disperse the attackers.
An artist from the region, Nursalim Yadi Anugerah, pleaded to the mayor to take action against the violence.
He told Tempo.Co: ‘We continue to ask the mayor to take firm action and investigate this case of violence.’
Anugerah told the paper he believes a local branch of Laskar Pemuda Melayu (Malay Youth Paramilitary) are behind the attack.
The group allegedly found the dance vulgar. They thought the dance contained LGBTI content, which they believe is not compatible with Indonesian culture.
Edi Rusdi Kamtomo, the mayor of Pontianak, responded to criticism that he ordered the attack. He claims there was a miscommunication between the event’s organizer and the police.
He says he collaborated, through the Department of Youth, Sports, and Tourism, with the Performing Arts Study Program.
Increased anti-LGBTI sentiment
Indonesia is currently in the grips of anti-LGBTI hysteria.
Homosexuality is not currently illegal in most of the country. In the province of Aceh, and for Muslims in the city of Palembang, it is illegal under Sharia Law. The punishment is caught is flogging.
The mayor of Padang in the province of West Suatra said he was using the military (TNI) to search for and arrest LGBTI people.
Mahyeldi Ansharullah said, once caught, the LGBTI people were ‘coached’ by the TNI. They also used conversion therapy techniques.