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

    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.
    2. 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.
    3. Order all government officials at all levels to refrain from making anti-LGBTIQ statements.
    4. 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.
    5. Undertake measures to ensure the protection and safety of all LGBTIQ human rights defenders.

    Organisation/s Involved

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

    Endorsed By The Following Individuals:

    1. Prof. Dédé Oetomo, Indonesia
    2. Poedjiati Tan, Indonesia
    3. Gunawan Wibisono, Indonesia
    4. Widya Anggraini, Indonesia
    5. Lau Shu Shi, Malaysia
    6. Rev. 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. Rev. 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. Prof. 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