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Jakarta TS Jailed For Marriage Fraud

in INDONESIA, 10/08/2011

A transvestite arrested for forging documents to marry a man has been jailed for eight months after the court ruled that he had promised to “become a real man as nature intended.”

The case involving Rahmat Sulistyo, who posed as Fransiska Anastasya Oktaviany Sulistyo, or Icha, has brought condemnation from the gay, lesbian and transgender community in Indonesia, who say Rahmat is a victim.

Judge Matauseja Erna, presiding in the Bekasi District Court on the outskirts of Jakarta on Monday, said Rahmat, who now preferred to be called Tyo instead of Icha, had been found guilty of forging documents to obtain a marriage license from the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Prosecutors had sought a one-year jaile term for forgery.

Erna said the court decided “to reduce the sentence because, Rahmat … had promised that he will become a real man as nature intended. So he deserves a second chance.”

Rahmat made headlines around Indonesia when his former husband, Muhammad Umar, 32, who is partially blind, reported his wife of six months to police after complaints from his neighbors in Bakasi.

Rights activists have instead blamed the Indonesian government for forcing Icha to hide his identity.

Rahmat told the court that he regretted his actions.

“[Idul Fitri] is only a month away — I want to celebrate Eid with my family at home,”Rahmat said, weeping.

After the verdict Rahmat said he was disappointed with the verdict, which would see him remain in jail for another three months.

“But what can I do, I must accept that.”

Rahmat also said that he had no malicious intent toward his former husband, Umar.

“I just love him sincerely, that’s all.”

During the sentencing the judges ruled that Rahmat suffered from multiple personality disorder and sexual disorientation.
 

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