A Central Jawa Court rejected a legal bid by a 31-year-old former Indonesian police officer for reinstatement following dismissal over his sexuality in 2018. His dismissal had come after Pujianto had served for 10 years in his position as police officer for the Central Jawa Police.

The accusations stem from an incident where Pujianto and his partner were caught by police at his workplace on Valentine’s day. The authorities deemed he had violated “ethical codes of the national police… by the deviant act of having same-sex intercourse.” 

This most recent dismissal is the second such blow for Pujianto, who in 2019 was denied his day in court after a judge cited the need for an internal police investigation to be completed prior to further legal action being taken.

Recently Pujianto told a local news outlet of this most current lawsuit that it was “my fight, my last-ditch effort. Why won’t they judge my service for all those years? Why exaggerate my mistakes, which I don’t think were mistakes anyway? I want to fight for basic human rights, so there will no longer be arbitrary actions taken against minorities.”

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 Lawyers from the non-governmental group Community Legal Aid Institute, who were representing Pujianto, confirmed in a statement on Thursday that the local administrative court had rejected his lawsuit. The court’s website confirmed a decision had been reached, but did not state the outcome.

Considered a landmark case by many equal rights advocates, Aisya Humaida from Community Legal Aid Institute expressed disappointment at the outcome. Humaida however fell short of ruling out a further appeal against the court’s decision, particularly due to the case centring on such strong issues of discrimination and equal rights within the workplace for LGBTQI Indonesians.

Director of Amnesty International Indonesia Usman Hamid agreed saying that the ruling “could create a bad and dangerous precedent for other members of the police.”

Despite homosexuality being seen as taboo within certain parts of Indonesian society, outside of Sharia-ruled province of Aceh where same-sex relations are banned, homosexuality remains legal in Indonesia which, with a population of more than 267 million, remains the most populous Muslim country in the world.

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