NEWSROOM March 14, 2016

Joint Statement on the Deteriorating Situation of LGBTIQ Rights in Indonesia

March 14, 2016: 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:

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Order all government officials at all levels to refrain from making anti-LGBTIQ statements.
  1. 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.
  1. 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:

  1. ASEAN Youth Forum, Regional
  2. Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (ALTSEAN-Burma), Regional
  3. ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights, Regional
  4. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Regional
  5. Organization Intersex International Chinese, Regional
  6. The Brunei Project, Regional
  7. Destination Justice, Global
  8. International Lesbian, Gay, Trans and Intersex Association, Global
  9. ILGA World Trans* Secretariat, Global
  10. OutRight Action International, Global
  11. CamASEAN Youth’s Future, Cambodia
  12. Cambodian Center for Human Rights, Cambodia
  13. Cambodian Human Rights and Development Asociation –ADHOC, Cambodia
  14. Day Ku Aphiwat, Cambodia
  15. Rainbow Community Kampuchea, Cambodia
  16. WGP Cambodia, Cambodia
  17. Chinese Lala Alliance, China
  18. Common Language, China
  19. Arus Pelangi, Indonesia
  20. GAYa Nusantara, Indonesia
  21. Institut Perempuan, Indonesia
  22. OHANA, Indonesia
  23. Partnership for Governance Reform, Indonesia
  24. Peace Women Across the Globe Indonesia, Indonesia
  25. Protection Desk Indonesia, Indonesia
  26. Sehjira Deaf Foundation, Indonesia
  27. Yayasan Lintas Nusa, Indonesia
  28. Lao LGBT Group, Lao PDR
  29. Diversity, Malaysia
  30. Global Development Initiative Association of Malaysia, Malaysia
  31. Justice for Sisters, Malaysia
  32. Malaysian Humanist and Rationalist Movement, Malaysia
  33. Rainbow Connection, Malaysia
  34. Rainbow Genders Society, Malaysia
  35. SUARAM Malaysia, Malaysia
  36. Alin Mee Eain, Myanmar
  37. Angles, Myanmar
  38. Alun Tan Lay Myar, Myanmar
  39. Beauty Queens, Myanmar
  40. Burma Partnership, Myanmar
  41. Burmese Tomboy Group, Myanmar
  42. Colors Rainbow, Myanmar
  43. Equality Myanmar, Myanmar
  44. Ever Green Lover, Myanmar
  45. Gold Star, Myanmar
  46. Khiine Ninsi, Myanmar
  47. Kings N Queens, Myanmar
  48. LGBT Rights Network Myanmar, Myanmar
  49. Manaw Pan, Myanmar
  50. Mee Eain Shin, Myanmar
  51. Lady, Myanmar
  52. Radanar Ayar Rural Development Association, Myanmar
  53. Rainbow Myeik, Myanmar
  54. Rainbow Organization, Myanmar
  55. Sarnarmu Saytanar, Myanmar
  56. Saytanar Arr Mann, Myanmar
  57. Sky Dragon Tomboy Group, Myanmar
  58. Tamar Mar Myae Ma Lat Myar, Myanmar
  59. Thunder, Myanmar
  60. TRY, Myanmar
  61. Alpha Nu Fraternity, Philippines
  62. Downelink Philippines Community, Philippines
  63. Freedom from Debt Coalition – Women Committee, Philippines
  64. GALANG Philippines
  65. LGBT Christian Church, Philippines
  66. Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates, Philippines
  67. Pinoy FTM, Philippines
  68. SHINE SOCCSKSARGEN, Inc., Philippines
  69. Society of Transexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP), Philippines
  70. Stop the Discrimination Coalition – Philippines
  71. True Colors Association, Philippines
  72. WomanHealth Philippines, Philippines
  73. Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau, Philippines
  74. The G Spot (Yale-NUS Gender & Sexuality Alliance), Yale-NUS College, Singapore
  75. Oogachaga, Singapore
  76. Sayoni, Singapore
  77. 30+ Lesbian Group – Grutergi, South Korea
  78. Chingusai – Korean Gay Men’s Human Rights Group, South Korea
  79. Christian Solidarity for a World Without Discrimination (Chasegiyeon), South Korea
  80. Collective for Sexual Minority Cultures PINKS, South Korea
  81. Daegu Queer Culture Festival, South Korea
  82. Green Party Minority Human Rights Committee, South Korea
  83. Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism – Society and Labour Committee, South Korea
  84. Justice Party Sexual Minority Committee, South Korea
  85. Korea Queer Culture Festival Organizing Committee, South Korea
  86. Korean Sexual Minority Culture and Rights Center (KSCRC), South Korea
  87. Korean Lawyers for Public Interest and Human Rights, South Korea
  88. GongGam Human Rights Law Foundation, South Korea
  89. Labor Party – Sexual Politics Committee, South Korea
  90. Lesbian Counselling Center in South Korea, South Korea
  91. Lesbian Human Rights Group “Byunnal” of Ewha Woman’s University, South Korea
  92. LGBTIQ Crossing the Damn World (It Means Totally Queer), South Korea
  93. Network for Global Activism, South Korea
  94. QUV-LGBTQ University Student Alliance of Korea, South Korea
  95. Rainbow Action Against Sexual Minority Discrimination, South Korea
  96. Rainbow Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights Daegu, South Korea
  97. RINBeyond the Rainbow Foundation, South Korea
  98. Sinnaneuncenter: LGBT Culture, Arts and Human Rights Center, South Korea
  99. Solidarity for HIV/AIDS Human Rights Nanuri+, South Korea
  100. Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights of Korea, South Korea
  101. The Korean Community Rainbow Group Lezpa, South Korea
  102. The Korean Society of Law and Policy on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, South Korea
  103. Unninetwork, South Korea
  104. Regional Centre for Strategic Studies, Sri Lanka
  105. RFSL -The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights, Sweden
  106. Buku Classroom, Thailand
  107. People Empowerment Foundation, Thailand
  108. Sangsan Anakot Yawachon Development Project, Thailand
  109. TEA Togetherness for Equality and Action, Thailand
  110. Thai Committee on Refugees Foundation, Thailand
  111. Freedom House, United States
  112. Institute for the Study of Society, Economy and Environment, Viet Nam
  113. Open Group, Viet Nam
  114. Trun Tam ICS, Viet Nam
  115. Vietnamese Women for Human Rights, Viet Nam
  116. Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe

Endorsed By The Following Individuals:

  1. Dédé Oetomo, Indonesia
  2. Poedjiati Tan, Indonesia
  3. Gunawan Wibisono, Indonesia
  4. Widya Anggraini, Indonesia
  5. Lau Shu Shi, Malaysia
  6. Dr. Joseph N. Goh, Monash University, Malaysia
  7. Teo Han Hui, Malaysia
  8. Albert Angelo Concepcion, Philippines
  9. Bruce Amoroto, Philippines
  10. Jason Maglacas Masaganda, Philippines
  11. John Tigno, Philippines
  12. Patrick F. Bonales, Philippines
  13. Patrick Espino, Philippines
  14. Ceejay Agbayani, Philippines
  15. Joanna Lavares, Philippines
  16. Anpak, South Korea
  17. Candy Darim Yun, South Korea
  18. Choi Yehoon, South Korea
  19. Eun Seon Kim, South Korea
  20. Holic Ryu, South Korea
  21. Hyeonsu Kim, South Korea
  22. Jaehyeok Choi, South Korea
  23. Je Jin, South Korea
  24. Jeong Seol Ha, South Korea
  25. Jinhwa Lee, South Korea
  26. JinJu Kyung, South Korea
  27. Jung Woo, South Korea
  28. Kimhyunyoung, South Korea
  29. Kang Myeongjin, South Korea
  30. Kim Nayeong, South Korea
  31. Ko Kumsook, South Korea
  32. Lee Byung Hun, South Korea
  33. Lee Jong Geol, South Korea
  34. Lee Yong-suk, South Korea
  35. Lim SungGye, South Korea
  36. Minjin Kang, South Korea
  37. Na Young, South Korea
  38. Sijin, South Korea
  39. Yi Jae Hee, South Korea
  40. Yookyeong Im, South Korea
  41. Zeno Ki, South Korea
  42. Douglas Sanders, Thailand
  43. Sulaiporn Chonwilai, Thailand
  44. Supecha Baotip, Thailand
  45. William Nicholas Gomes, United Kingdom
  46. Ariel Herrera, United States
  47. Hudad Tolloui, United States
  48. Vi Tran, Viet Nam
  49. Diana Mailosi, Zimbabwe


Media Contacts:

Midnight Poonkasetwattana, Executive Director, APCOM, +66-85-360-5200 (Bangkok)

Natt Kraipet, Network Coordinator, APTN, +66-82-653-3999

Niluka Perera, Program Officer, Youth Voices Count, +66-94-835-1762 (Bangkok)

Ryan Silverio, Regional Coordinator, ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, +63-917-879-7710 (Manila)

Sattarah Hattirat, Regional Coordinator, ILGA Asia, +66-82-339-5252 (Bangkok)