Putra Prima Perdana, Bandung – The coordinator of the Bandung Kulon chapter of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), Tubagus Abbas Murodi, has admitted that the FPI conducted a sweep of boarding houses in the Bandung Kulon area.
The sweeps, which were carried out on the night of Monday January 25, were aimed at finding lesbians or homosexual boarding house guests.
Speaking with Tempo on Jl. Gempolsari, Bandung Kulon, in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung, Abbas said that the presence of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender or LGBT people has upset residents of Baturengat in Bandung Kulon.
Lesbian groups that have rented rooms in boarding houses there, he said, held an alcoholic drinking party three months ago. “They were also caught red handed committing immoral acts”, said Abbas Wednesday January 27.
It was this that motivated the FPI to carry out the sweeps. The FPI operation as conducted in coordination with officials from the Bandung Kulon sub-district office, the Bandung Kulon sectoral police and the Bandung municipal population and civil registration office.
A number of boarding houses were checked and several of the rooms were occupied by two or more women. “Five women in one room were found. Although indeed it hasn’t been proven that they are lesbians. We have referred the entire matter of the raid to the local authorities”, he said.
Abbas explained that most of the women suspected of being from a lesbian group who rented rooms in boarding houses on Jl. Gempolsari and Baturengat worked at garment factories in the Cigondewah area.
Bandung Kulon Regent Dadan Heri Guratman has called on local residents to remain calm and not take the law into their own hands in response to opposition to lesbians or homos in their area.
“We don’t know what the indications are of lesbians or homos. If residents feel there is something suspicious related to women lesbians, perhaps then. But [we] can’t confirm whether or not they are lesbian”, said Guratman.
Residents who oppose LGBT groups later put up posters in the vicinity of the boarding house. Guratman said that he is in fact concerned that banners, which are in the name of the FPI, will give rise to a polemic and misunderstanding.
Because they did not have permission to put up the banners they will soon be taken down. “We will ask that the banners be taken down because they violate bylaws on advertising”, he said.
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Cari Kaum LGBT, FPI Sweeping Rumah Kos di Bandung.]