No murder charges filed against group accused of burning transgender woman to death in Indonesia

by Editorial Team

Police in North Jakarta, Indonesia, will not file murder charges against a group of men accused of killing a transgender woman by setting her on fire.

On Tuesday, The Jakarta Post reported that “several gang members” had burned to death a 42-year-old woman after accusing her of theft.

Some reports say that the woman, known locally as Mira, was 43.

She died on Sunday, a day after being set on fire by the group. They accused Mira of stealing the phone and wallet of a truck driver who had parked near her home.

When they couldn’t find any of the possessions she was accused of stealing, the group poured roughly two liters of gasoline on her, before burning her alive.

On Wednesday, Indonesia police said that they believed that the suspects didn’t do it intentionally, according to Reuters.

Six suspects have been identified. But according to Budhi Herdi Susianto, the North Jakarta police chief, it wasn’t their intention to burn her alive.

Usman Hamid, the Indonesian representative of Amnesty International, slammed the decision saying, “The police need take investigative actions that are impartial and independent. They can’t seem like the perpetrators’ lawyers,” Hamid told Reuters.

If convicted, the suspects could be charged with physical violence, and face a maximum sentence of 12 years.

In a statement released Tuesday following the incident, Hamid urged authorities to investigate “this despicable murder,” warning that without prompt action from authorities “transgender people in Indonesia will feel even further neglected and vilified by their government,” he said.

“It would not be the first time that LGBTI people in Indonesia have been violently targeted simply for who they are,” Hamid added.

Same-sex behavior is not regulated by law in the Southeast Asian country, except in the conservative province of Aceh, where homosexuality is banned under sharia law.

In February, a proposed bill would require adults experiencing “sexual deviation” to report to authorities.

According to The Jakarta Post, sexual deviations are defined as “urges to achieve sexual satisfaction through unusual and unreasonable ways, which include sadism, masochism, incest and homosexuality.”


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