Three Indonesian women have been arrested for making a video that claims the president will make same-sex marriage legal, police said.
The video has been shared thousands of times. In it, two women tell a man that President Joko Widodo would end the Muslim call to prayer, which is performed five times a day.
They also claim he will legalize same-sex marriage and force women to remove the hijab.
However, due to electronic information and hate speech laws, they face up to six years in prison.
A local police spokesperson told a press conference on Monday (25 February): ‘This is a preventive measure because this could potentially trigger anxiety and conflict in our society.’
Widodo has never claimed to support any of these policies and is a practicing Muslim.
In fact, his government has overseen a massive crackdown on LGBTI rights. While gay sex is not illegal in Indonesia, rights groups have claimed a ‘government-driven moral panic’ is engulfing the nation.
Last year, Depok in West Java claimed it was preparing a regulation to restrict the movement of LGBTI people.
Whereas the mayor of Padang in the province of West Sumatra claims they are using the military to search for and arrest LGBTI people.
When found, the victims are ‘coached’ by the army. This also involves the use of Islamic scholars (ulema) to perform ‘ruqyah’ (a form of exorcism on individuals).
The Indonesian general election will take place on Wednesday 17 April 2019. His main opposition is former general Prabowo Subianto of the Great Indonesia Movement Party.