Laws to ‘ban’ LGBTI people in Indonesian city are illegal

two men sitting on chairs with a police woman standing over them

Indonesia’s leading human rights organization said plans to ban LGBTI people in a major city goes against the country’s laws.

The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) said police actions in the city of Depok goes against the country’s mandate to protect citizens from discrimination regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

Depok in West Java announced in November last year that it planned to create regulations which restricted the movement of LGBTI people.

‘[We will make it] to overcome these social deviancy. This mayoral regulation will be an effective regulatory step to block the LGBT [community],’ said Depok Mayor Mohammad Idris at the time.

But Komnas HAM said any such moves would leave to more discrimination of LGBTI people.

‘For the protection of human rights, a person must not be discriminated against, be intimidated or receive threats of violence because of their sexual orientation,’ Komnas HAM Commissioner Beka Ulung Hapsara told Tirto.

Beka said Depok’s mayor was wrong to label LGBTI people as deviants.

The limits must be clear. The definition of LGBT behavior must be clarified, because it must not enter the private domain carelessly,’ he said.

‘After all the state, according to the mandate of the constitution must protect all citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation,’ said Beka.’

Homosexuality and being transgender are not illegal in Indonesia. But the country has increasingly persecuted the LGBTI community for the past three years.

Since early 2016, ‘government-driven moral panic’ over LGBTI Indonesians has engulfed the nation, according to rights groups.

Author: Shannon Power

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