Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Sunday, December 27, 1998 Published at 10:53 GMT


World: Asia-Pacific

Indonesian Muslims storm brothels

Riots have rocked Indonesia since May

Thousands of Indonesian Muslims have attacked a red-light district near the city of Medan, throwing stones at prostitutes and brothel keepers.


The BBC's Simon Ingram: Protesters were demanding the closure of brothels
Dozens of people were reportedly injured as protesters shouting Islamic slogans demanded the closure of bars and sex clubs during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Reports said the violence erupted on Friday when 5,000 demonstrators led by Muslim clerics marched into the red-light district.


[ image: Prostitution is illegal in Indonesia]
Prostitution is illegal in Indonesia
Indonesian security forces managed to disperse the crowds after giving the club owners until Monday to suspend business for the rest of Ramadan.

Prostitution is illegal, but widely condoned, in Indonesia, where 90% of the population is Muslim.

Reports of the riot were not released until Sunday. Police said the Sumatran town had returned to calm, but security forces were patrolling on foot and in trucks.

Alcohol set on fire

Violence also flared in Sulawesi where thousands of people went on the rampage following reports that a drunken Christian had stabbed a Muslim during a quarrel.

Scores of people were injured and a disco was set on fire during rioting in the town of Poso on Friday and Saturday, officials said.

Mobs unloaded liquor from six shops and burned them on the street. They also damaged hotels and set their furniture on fire.

Government building torched

In a separate incident on the island, the daily Kompas newspaper reported that angry residents in the town of Jeneponto had set fire to the local parliament.

The attack followed allegations the new mayor had bribed legislators to award him the job.

Indonesia has been rocked by riots this year that reached a peak in May just before the ousting of its longtime authoritarian leader, President Suharto.

Religious and ethnic tensions have also been rising amid the political and economic turmoil.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia



Relevant Stories

23 Dec 98 | LATEST NEWS
Corruption probe closes on Suharto

20 Dec 98 | LATEST NEWS
Airport stormed as UN envoy leaves East Timor

17 Dec 98 | LATEST NEWS
Fresh student protests in Jakarta

15 Dec 98 | LATEST NEWS
Indonesian party splits

28 May 98 | From Our Own Correspondent
Indonesia - end of an era





Internet Links


Antara - Indonesian state news agency


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Indonesia rules out Aceh independence

DiCaprio film trial begins

Millennium sect heads for the hills

Uzbekistan voices security concerns

From Business
Chinese imports boost US trade gap

ICRC visits twelve Burmese jails

Falintil guerillas challenge East Timor peackeepers

Malaysian candidates named

North Korea expels US 'spy'

Holbrooke to arrive in Indonesia

China warns US over Falun Gong

Thais hand back Cambodian antiques