Indonesia shuts down massive prostitution complex

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Associated Press

Posted on June 18, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 18 at 1:35 PM

SURABAYA, Indonesia (AP) — Officials have officially shut a massive prostitution complex in Indonesia's second-largest city amid protests by sex workers, who said their livelihoods were being destroyed.

The mayor of Surabaya, Tri Rismaharini, announced the closure of the "Dolly" prostitution complex in a ceremony Wednesday at the city's Islamic Center Building, about a mile (two kilometers) away.

A Cabinet minister and the governor of East Java attended the ceremony, where about 100 local figures signed a statement supporting the closure of one of Southeast Asia's largest red-light districts.

The government plans to provide $425 to each of about 1,500 sex workers to help them start a new life.

Hundreds of prostitutes and others who said their livelihoods depend on the sex trade blocked streets leading to the complex in protest of its closure.

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