“Unprecedented” attacks on the LGBT community in Indonesia is continuing to have concerning consequences, a Human Rights Watch report states.
A new report released by HRW today (Thursday) examines the “outpouring of intolerance” that began on January 24 when the conservative tabloid Republika published a front page headline reading ‘LGBT a serious threat’.
The 56-page report, These Political Games Ruin Our Lives’: Indonesia’s LGBT Community Under Threat, documents the alarming rise in anti-LGBT rhetoric in the country.
“The rights of Indonesian sexual and gender minorities have come under unprecedented attack in 2016,” the report says. “Across the country prior to January 2016, many Indonesian sexual and gender minorities lived with a mix of tolerance and prejudice … But in early 2016, a combination of government officials, militant Islamists, and mass religious groups stoking anti-LGBT intolerance led to immediate deterioration of the human rights of LGBT individuals. What began as public condemnation quickly grew into calls for criminalization and ‘cures,’ laying bare the depth and breadth of officials’ individual prejudices.”
In a statement to the media, Kyle Knight, LGBT rights researcher at Human Rights Watch and author of the report said: “The campaign of hate is apparently not over yet.”
The country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) citizens have long been targeted by vigilante Islamist groups.
Indonesia’s Constitutional Court is considering a petition brought forward by a group of Islamic activists seeking to amend the country’s criminal code to make gay sex a crime punishable with a prison sentence.
The court is currently holding hearings into the case.