After Brunei episode, Aceh now in spotlight in fight for LGBT rights

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06/01/2019

George Clooney’s star power helped in Brunei, but LGBT+ advocates said a similar celebrity boycott of businesses in another anti-LGBT+ hotspot in Southeast Asia is unlikely to have the same results. Clooney, who led celebrity protests over the death penalty for gay sex in Brunei, is global ambassador for Nestle-owned coffee maker Nespresso that sources coffee beans from ultra-conservative Aceh in Sumatra, where homosexuality is illegal. Aceh is the only Indonesian province that enforces Islamic law and where, for the past five years, anybody caught in consensual gay sex faces 100 lashes, 100 months in jail or a fine of 1,000 grams of gold. Teguh Iman Affandi, from Indonesian LGBT+ advocacy group Suara Kita, said the situation in Aceh is getting worse with people forced underground or to flee to big cities in Indonesia and Malaysia, but this is falling under the global radar.

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