AN AUSTRALIAN Liberal politician has spoken out against the treatment of the LGBTI community in Aceh, Indonesia.

Member for North Sydney Trent Zimmerman yesterday addressed Federal Parliament on the matter.

“Australia values its close relationship with Indonesia,” he said. “Sadly recent events have given us cause to question that understanding.”

Zimmerman condemned the public caning of two gay men in the province.

“This week, two young men, by virtue of their sexuality alone, were subject to the most appalling treatment by the judicial system in Aceh,” he said.

“Cruel and sickening are the only words to describe the images of those men being caned at a public spectacle.

“That the operation of Sharia law should allow two people to be so inhumanely treated is not something we can stand by and ignore—and nor should Indonesian authorities.

“What we witnessed this week reflects a broader trend to stigmatise and persecute members of the Indonesian LGBTI community.”

The high-profile public canings came in the same week as 141 men were arrested at a gay sauna in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.

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