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The Jakarta Post
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Komnas HAM slams vilification of LGBT by officials

  • Liza Yosephine

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Fri, February 5 2016 | 06:12 pm
Komnas HAM slams vilification of LGBT by officials

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) activists rally in front of the State Palace to mark International Human Rights Day in Jakarta on Dec. 12, 2015. (Wienda Parwitasari/thejakartapost.com)

The National Commission of Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has described as a violation of human rights recent statements made by public officials vilifying the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) community.

Komnas HAM described the vilification of LGBT members by several political figures as contradictory to the fundamental principles of the nation, according to a statement received from Komnas HAM by thejakartapost.com.

Technology, Research, and Higher Education Minister Muhammad Nasir argued in January for the prohibition of LGBT students from university campuses describing them as morally corrupt.

The statement was followed by various statements by other officials, including Culture and Elementary and Secondary Education Minister Anies Baswedan, People's Consultative Assembly chairman Zulkifli Hasan, House of Representatives member Reni Marliawati and Bandung Mayor Ridwan Kamil, who all made similar discriminatory statements regarding LGBT people.

The commission says that such statements are also not in line with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's development principles of Nawa Cita in which the government affirms Indonesia's pluralism and intends to strengthen social restoration through policies aimed at strengthening education in favor of diversity and creating space for dialogue among citizens.

Disparaging comments fueled discrimination and triggered violence toward the LGBT community, Konmas HAM stated.

According to research conducted by the commission in 2015, the LGBT community especially have difficulty in fulfilling its right to health, work, fair legal treatment and freedom of expression. The research also found that the media played a large role in helping the public understand LGBT issues.

Komnas HAM urged public officals to put a stop to negative comments that violated human rights and incited violence toward the LGBT community.

The commission also called for law enforcement agencies to curb abuse instigated by community organizations or individuals toward LGBT people and referred to the Social Affairs Ministry Regulation No. 8/2012 on minority groups in which LGBT people are included, as well as Home Ministry Regulation no. 27/2014 on the guidelines for the planning, control and job evaluation work plan for regional development in 2015 that is also inclusive of gays, transsexuals and lesbians.

Furthermore, the commission emphasized the importance of applying the 2006 Yogyakarta Principles, a set of international human rights principles relating to sexual orientation and gender identity. (bbn)(+)

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