GALANG Stands in Solidarity with the LGBTIQ Advocates Against Discrimination in Indonesia

Joint Statement

Joint Statement on the Deteriorating Situation of LGBTIQ Rights in Indonesia

We, civil society organizations and human rights defenders, express deep concern about the recent deteriorating situation faced by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer (LGBTIQ) community in Indonesia. We express grave disappointment over the Indonesian government’s lack of political will to put a stop to the wave of discriminatory statements and attacks against LGBTIQ persons, and its failure to ensure their safety and protection. We call on the Indonesian government to respect, protect and promote the human rights of LGBTIQ people.

Since January 2016, a number of government officials have made anti-LGBTIQ statements and undertaken other activities promoting anti-LGBTIQ sentiments. The Research, Technology and Higher Education Minister Muhammad Nasir issued a statement suggesting that homosexual and transgender students should be banned from attending university. The Surabaya police ordered to stop the “#GueBerani Party”, a public event aimed at raising awareness on HIV/AIDS. An Islamic boarding school in Yogyakarta attended by transgender women was raided and forced to close by Indonesian authorities, who cited “security, order, and public comfort issues” as justification. The Indonesian Broadcasting Company released a statement forbidding “effeminate” and “crossdressing” men as well as transgender women from appearing on television. The Ministry of Information and Communication banned stickers and emoji carrying LGBTIQ-themes, and demanded mobile apps and social networking sites to remove such content. Moreover, the Indonesian Parliament is in the process of legislating a ban on public information with LGBTIQ-related content.

Indonesia has a history of discrimination and violence against LGBTIQs, but recent events suggest that the situation is getting worse. The Indonesian government’s failure to condemn anti-LGBTIQ statements has only encouraged anti-LGBTIQ groups like the Front Pembela Islam (FPI) and Ulama Council to continue issuing statements and undertaking other aggressive activities against the already marginalised community. On February 4, FPI reportedly harassed participants at a seminar in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta held to inform LGBTIQs of ways to access justice. With anti-LGBTIQ statements from Indonesian officials on the rise, it is easy for extremist groups to justify their own oppressive actions, including attacks against LGBTIQ people. The absence of a clear government response addressing discrimination and violence against LGBTIQ people is an apparent neglect of Indonesia’s commitment to uphold international and domestic human rights law.

With these issues in mind, we urge the Indonesian government to comply with its obligations under domestic and international law to respect, protect and promote the human rights of LGBTIQ people. Indonesia’s Law Concerning Human Rights (No. 39/1999) states that everyone in the country has the “right to, without any discrimination, the protection of human rights and obligations” (Art. 3.3). The said law obligates government to guarantee protection of persons who face discrimination and violence, and ensure they have access to effective remedies.

The Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law in Relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, developed in Yogyakarta 10 years ago, provide a universal guide to applying international human rights law to abuses experienced by lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender people to ensure the universal reach of human rights protections.

In particular, we urge the Indonesian government to undertake the following actions:

Ensure that everyone in Indonesia is equally protected under the law. The Indonesian LGBTIQ community should not be used as a scapegoat to divert attention from other pressing issues in the country.
Refrain from using LGBTIQ issues to paint a picture of civil disturbance. Labelling the LGBTIQ as threats to “security, order, and public comfort” encourages further extremist actions in the interest of perceived Internal Security.
Order all government officials at all levels to refrain from making anti-LGBTIQ statements.
Proactively address cases of violence against LGBTIQ, including by implementing measures to prevent all forms of violence, by investigating and penalizing such actions, and by undertaking necessary reforms in the justice system.
Undertake measures to ensure the protection and safety of all LGBTIQ human rights defenders.

Signed By:

Midnight Poonkasetwattana, Executive Director, APCOM

Natt Kraipet, Network Coordinator, APTN

Niluka Perera, Program Officer, Youth Voices Count

Ryan Silverio, Regional Coordinator, ASEAN SOGIE Caucus

Sattarah Hattirat, Regional Coordinator, ILGA Asia

Endorsed By The Following Organizations:

ASEAN Youth Forum, Regional
Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (ALTSEAN-Burma), Regional
ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights, Regional
Organization Intersex International Chinese, Regional
The Brunei Project, Regional
Destination Justice, Global
International Lesbian, Gay, Trans and Intersex Association, Global
ILGA World Trans* Secretariat, Global
CamASEAN Youth’s Future, Cambodia
Cambodian Center for Human Rights, Cambodia
Day Ku Aphiwat, Cambodia
Rainbow Community Kampuchea, Cambodia
WGP Cambodia, Cambodia
Chinese Lala Alliance, China
Common Language, China
Arus Pelangi, Indonesia
GAYa Nusantara, Indonesia
Institut Perempuan, Indonesia
Partnership for Governance Reform, Indonesia
Peace Women Across the Globe Indonesia, Indonesia
Protection Desk Indonesia, Indonesia
Yayasan Lintas Nusa, Indonesia
Lao LGBT Group, Lao PDR
Justice for Sisters, Malaysia
Malaysian Humanist and Rationalist Movement, Malaysia
Rainbow Connection, Malaysia
Rainbow Genders Society, Malaysia
SUARAM Malaysia, Malaysia
Alin Mee Eain, Myanmar
Angles, Myanmar
Alun Tan Lay Myar, Myanmar
Beauty Queens, Myanmar
Burma Partnership, Myanmar
Burmese Tomboy Group, Myanmar
Colors Rainbow, Myanmar
Equality Myanmar, Myanmar
Ever Green Lover, Myanmar
Gold Star, Myanmar
Khiine Ninsi, Myanmar
Kings N Queens, Myanmar
LGBT Rights Network Myanmar, Myanmar
Manaw Pan, Myanmar
Mee Eain Shin, Myanmar
Mr. Lady, Myanmar
Radanar Ayar Rural Development Association, Myanmar
Rainbow Myeik, Myanmar
Rainbow Organization, Myanmar
Sarnarmu Saytanar, Myanmar
Saytanar Arr Mann, Myanmar
Sky Dragon Tomboy Group, Myanmar
Tamar Mar Myae Ma Lat Myar, Myanmar
Thunder, Myanmar
TRY, Myanmar
Alpha Nu Fraternity, Philippines
Downelink Philippines Community, Philippines
Freedom from Debt Coalition – Women Committee, Philippines
GALANG Philippines
LGBT Christian Church, Philippines
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates, Philippines
Pinoy FTM, Philippines
Society of Transexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP), Philippines
Stop the Discrimination Coalition – Philippines
WomanHealth Philippines, Philippines
Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau, Philippines
G-Spot, Singapore
Oogachaga, Singapore
Sayoni, Singapore
30+ Lesbian Group – Grutergi, South Korea
Chingusai – Korean Gay Men’s Human Rights Group, South Korea
Christian Solidarity for a World Without Discrimination (Chasegiyeon), South Korea
Collective for Sexual Minority Cultures PINKS, South Korea
Daegu Queer Culture Festival, South Korea
Green Party Minority Human Rights Committee, South Korea
Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism – Society and Labour Committee, South Korea
Justice Party Sexual Minority Committee, South Korea
Korea Queer Culture Festival Organizing Committee, South Korea
Korean Sexual Minority Culture and Rights Center (KSCRC), South Korea
Korean Lawyers for Public Interest and Human Rights, South Korea
GongGam Human Rights Law Foundation, South Korea
Labor Party – Sexual Politics Committee, South Korea
Lesbian Counselling Center in South Korea, South Korea
Lesbian Human Rights Group “Byunnal” of Ewha Woman’s University, South Korea
LGBTIQ Crossing the Damn World (It Means Totally Queer), South Korea
Network for Global Activism, South Korea
QUV-LGBTQ University Student Alliance of Korea, South Korea
Rainbow Action Against Sexual Minority Discrimination, South Korea
Rainbow Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights Daegu, South Korea
RINBeyond the Rainbow Foundation, South Korea
Sinnaneuncenter: LGBT Culture, Arts and Human Rights Center, South Korea
Solidarity for HIV/AIDS Human Rights Nanuri+, South Korea
Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights of Korea, South Korea
The Korean Community Rainbow Group Lezpa, South Korea
The Korean Society of Law and Policy on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, South Korea
Unninetwork, South Korea
Regional Centre for Strategic Studies, Sri Lanka
RFSL -The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights, Sweden
Buku Classroom, Thailand
People Empowerment Foundation, Thailand
Sangsan Anakot Yawachon Development Project, Thailand
TEA Togetherness for Equality and Action, Thailand
Thai Committee on Refugees Foundation, Thailand
Freedom House, United States
Institute for the Study of Society, Economy and Environment, Viet Nam
Open Group, Viet Nam
Trun Tam ICS, Viet Nam
Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe


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