BANDA ACEH — Two suspected lesbians detained earlier this week by Islamic Shariah police in Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province will undergo rehabilitation instead of being charged with a crime, a police chief said today (Oct 3).
The women, 18 and 19 years old, were taken in for questioning Monday night by Sharia police officers who saw them sitting and hugging each other in Ulee Lheue, a coastal neighbourhood in the capital, Banda Aceh, according to the Shariah police chief, Evendi Latief.
“They later confessed to be a lesbian couple and that was supported by pictures found on their handphones,” Mr Latief said.
The two women, identified only by the initials “AS” and “N” will not be charged because a new criminal code for Aceh that criminalises homosexuality won’t take effect until later this month, he said.
Under that code, any person found guilty of homosexuality could face up to 100 cane lashes or a maximum fine of 1,000 grams of fine gold or imprisonment of up to 100 months. Indonesia’s national criminal code doesn’t regulate homosexuality.