TNI jails soldier for same-sex relationship, threatens sanctions against others

Detik News – October 15, 2020
Soldier stands trial in Denpasar military court over same-sex charges – March 2020 (Riau Online)

Elza Astari Retaduari, Jakarta – The Indonesian military (TNI) has reasserted that it will firmly punish soldiers who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). Violators will be tried in military courts and dishonorably discharged from the military.

“The TNI applies firm sanctions against rouge TNI officers who are proven to have committed legal violations against morality, including among them those who are LGBT”, said TNI information centre division head Colonel Sus Aidil in a press release on Thursday October 15.

Aidil said that the stipulations prohibiting LGBT are set out in TNI Commander Telegram Number ST No ST/398/2009 dated July 22, 2009, which is reinforced by Telegram Number ST/1648/2019 dated October 22, 2019. The regulations state that LGBT is a behaviour which is inappropriate for TNI soldiers.

“It conflicts with military discipline and represents a gross violation which is not allowed within the TNI. Legal proceeding will be firmly applied by handing down [jail] sentences with the addition of being dismissed through a hearing in a military tribunal”, added Aidil.

Law Number 34/2004 on the TNI is also used as grounds for prohibiting LGBT within the military and is related to military discipline.

“That soldiers shall be dishonorably dismissed from military service because they have a temperament towards or commit actions which clearly harm the TNI’s military discipline”, quoted Aidil form Article 62 of the 2004 law.

As was reported earlier, the Semarang II-10 Military Court in Central Java dismissed Praka (chief private) P from the TNI because it was proven that he had had a same-sex relationship. In addition to being sentenced to one year in jail, Praka P was dishonorably discharged from the military.

The sentence was set out in a Semarang Military Court ruling released on the Supreme Court website on Wednesday October 14. Praka P was dismissed because he was proven to have had a same-sex relationship with Pratu (private 1st class) M who he had met through social media.

In addition to Praka P, another soldier was dismissed for having a same-sex relationship. The II-09 Military Court in Bandung, West Java, dismissed Pratu H for having repeated same-sex relationships with other TNI soldiers. (elz/hri)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “TNI: Prajurit LGBT Pelanggaran Berat, Sanksinya Pemecatan Tidak dengan Hormat”.]