12 Aug 2016

Indonesia says “no room” for LGBT rights

The comments came in response to a report released by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemning the country’s deteriorating situation for LGBT

A presidential spokesperson has said there is “no room” for an LGBT rights movement in Indonesia in response to a HRW report criticising the government’s failure to protect “unprecedented attacks” on LGBT this year.

The HRW report, named “These Political Games Ruin Our Lives”: Indonesia’s LGBT Community Under Threat, highlights comments made by government ministers earlier this year and the backlash this has had on the safety of the community.

“A series of anti-LGBT public comments by government officials grew into a cascade of threats and vitriol against LGBT Indonesians by state commissions, militant Islamists, and mainstream religious organizations,” the report says.

Presidential spokesman Johan Budi responded to the report’s claims in a text message to Reuters:

"As a citizen, whoever the person is will have his rights protected, without looking at his sexual preference. But if LGBT means a mass movement to influence other parties to become like them, then there's no room here.”

Anti-LGBT sentiment in January and February of this year saw mentions of LGBT banned from TV and radio and a government minister suggesting LGBT should be barred from university campuses.

Reuters also reported that for Indonesian LGBT activist Dede Oetomo said Budi's remark did not come as a surprise but it showed "the president doesn't understand human rights.

Watch a video introduction to the report below: