An Indonesian politician has grabbed headlines in that country after saying he believed LGBTI people should be sentenced to death or at least life in prison.
Muslim Ayub is a member of the Islamist National Mandate Party (PAN) and made the controversial comments earlier this week.
Ayub was asked about the debate in the House of Representatives around proposed amendments to the Criminal Code (KUHP).
Last week a House Commission set up to review the KUHP submitted its proposed amendments, one of which included criminalizing same-sex relations.
But Ayub and his party, PAN, want to take things further and impose harsh punishments on LGBTI people.
He told JurnaliaIndonesia that intense negotiations around the criminalization of LGBTI people had occurred, but his party was not happy with them.
‘We were not satisfied. We want a death sentence or a lifetime jail sentence to have a deterrent effect on the LGBT (community),’ he said.
Ayub who is known to make controversial comments represents the Aceh province, which follow Islamic Sharia Law. It is the only province in Indonesia where it is illegal to be gay.
Ayub also wanted to impose penalties on people for ‘promoting LGBTI’ behavior.
Will the law pass?
Observers expected the KUHP amendments to pass the House of Representatives by February 14, but it looks like that will be delayed as MPs debate a number of amendments.
Ayub’s colleague in PAN, Hanafi Rais, said the debate around criminalizing homosexuality was all but agreed upon by most Indonesian political parties.
‘It’s almost final now, regarding the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] issue,’ he told media last week.
The debate around the LGBTI community comes during a crackdown on the LGBTI community who have faced increasing persecution in the last two years.
Only last week the Indonesian Health Ministry declared homosexuality a mental disorder.