The human rights of LGBTI Indonesians remain under threat from police, politicians and religious leaders, despite activists’ protests.
Police in Jakarta disrupted a closed workshop on access to justice for members of the LGBTI community.
Muhammad Nasir, Indonesia’s Minister of Research, Technology, and Higher Education, said that LGBT students should be banned if they ‘engage in disgraceful behavior like making love or showing affection.’
The Islam Defenders Front allegedly posted homophobic banners in the capital of Indonesia’s West Java province. Mayor RidwanKamil reprimanded the Muslim group for its provocative actions, but countrywide the anti-LGBTI crackdown intensified.
The country’s top Muslim clerical body, the Indonesian Ulema Council, encouraged the government to make same-sex sexual acts and the promotion of LGBT activities illegal, the Associated Press reported.
In response to that statement, an interfaith forum took a less extreme, but still misguided, position. It issued a joint statement in which, The Jakarta Post reports, “they concluded that a peaceful approach was the only way to deal with members of the LGBT community before they could turn to faith to be cured.”
In addition, the country’s vice president urged the UN Development Program to deny funding to LGBTI programs in Indonesia.
The crackdown did not spare the worlds of social media and traditional media. The government asked instant messaging apps to remove LGBT-themed stickers and emojis, announced (and later dropped) plans to block access to Tumblr (and to 477 more websites) unless it “agrees to block pornography and LGBT content from being accessed in Indonesia.” The country’s broadcasting regulators also banned programs portraying LGBT lives as “normal.”
Human Rights Watch called on Indonesia’s government on Feb. 12 to defend the rights of LGBT people and publicly condemn officials’ grossly discriminatory remarks. Similarly, Indonesia’s National Human Rights Commission condemned officials’ anti-LGBT statements and urged law enforcement agencies to protect LGBT people from violence by community groups.
Most of the news items in this recap were excerpted with slight modifications from two published round-ups of the world’s LGBTI-related news– UNAIDS’s Equal Eyes and ILGA’s LGBulleTIn.
- Activists to Indonesian leaders: Stifle anti-LGBT officials (Feb. 12, 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Indonesia: Detention, ‘rehab’ for 2 women who hugged (October 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Human rights official blasts anti-LGBTI bias in Indonesia (July 2015, 76crimes.com)
- LGBT fear sharia in Indonesia’s Aceh district (January 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Indonesia plan: 100 lashes for gay sex, Muslim or not (September 2014, 76crimes.com)
- Indonesian region OKs whipping for gay sex, adultery (76crimes.com)
- Indonesia: 2 suspected Indonesian lesbians to undergo ‘rehabilitation’ (AP via Sun Herald)
- Archive of this blog’s coverage of Indonesia
- Human Rights Watch reporting on Indonesia