Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said that ten Indonesian women were arrested over the weekend for what police described as “lesbian deviant behaviour”.

HRW’s Kyle Knight wrote that police in West Sumatra trawled Facebook and found images of two of the women hugging and kissing.

A post on the Facebook page of Padang’s police department says that the arrests are part of an effort to “minimise the development of LGBT in the city of Padang”.

The post bears an image of people hiding their faces, and says that ten “suspected” LGBT people have been detained there.

Head of police Pol Yadrison said in a statement that authorities are receiving reports about suspected LGBT people “almost every day”, PinkNews reported.

Yadrison said that the images police found were of two women “kissing” like “men and women”.

“From this discovery the officer finally conducted a search and managed to find the identity and whereabouts of the photo uploader,” he said.

Last week, Human Rights Watch said that officials in West Java are calling for policies allowing the arrest and “rehabilitation” of LGBT Indonesians.

Two men were arrested in Bandung earlier this month and charged for allegedly running a Facebook group for same-sex couples, seizing mobile phones and condoms as evidence of purported sexual orientation.

Public punishments for gay sex resumed in Aceh in July after officials promised they would only take place inside prisons or detention centres, with two men lashed 87 times.

Human Rights Watch last year noted that over 500 people had been publicly caned for “victimless crimes” such as non-marital kissing and gay sex.

In March, Indonesian officials began to round up trans people in order to force them into “rehabilitation”, and the country moved to classify being gay or bisexual as a “mental disorder”.

Gay sex is still legal in most of Indonesia outside Aceh, but broader criminalisation remains a looming threat.

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