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Liberal MP condemns Indonesia's treatment of gay men

Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman has called the caning of two gay men in Indonesia “cruel and sickening” following the public punishment in Aceh this week.

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The two men were arrested after vigilantes broke into their residence, and claimed the pair were having gay sex which is against Aceh’s laws.

Zimmerman said Australia should not stand by and ignore the inhumane treatment of the men who were each lashed 83 times.

“Our friendship with Indonesia has been strengthened by our perception of a pluralistic, democratic and moderate Islamic nation,” Zimmerman said in parliament.

“Sadly, recent events have given us cause to question that understanding.

“Nothing should absolve the Indonesian government of its obligation to ensure all its citizens are afforded the basic human rights it has agreed to uphold through its international commitments.”

Zimmerman also praised Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for bringing the issue to Indonesia’s attention.

Crossbencher Senator Derryn Hinch has echoed Zimmerman’s concerns, calling for Australia to freeze foreign aid to the region.

“I believe Australian aid should be suspended to show our disapproval and disgust. I’m disappointed by our government’s silence on this cruelty.”

OIP Staff

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