The Indonesian Legal Aid Institute Foundation (YLBHI), 15 Legal Aid Institutes (LBH) and the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) issued statements over the weekend in protest of the South Sulawesi Police's ban on a transgender sporting and cultural event in Soppeng regency.
The event involved about 600 transgender people or waria and bissu (a gender-neutral identity of Bugis tradition) from 22 areas in South Sulawesi.
The legal and feminist organizations protested the police’s action, calling it a violation of the rights of the waria and bissu community in South Sulawesi.
In a statement on Friday, the YLBHI and 15 LBHs said the event was actually a regular one in Soppeng and had received the approval of the Soppeng regent and councillors.
The legal organizations said the South Sulawesi Police had violated the right to assemble, freedom of expression and the right to participate in cultural and arts events stipulated in the Constitution and the 2005 laws on economic, social and cultural rights and on civil rights.
“The police should not give an excuse to not issue the permit,” the statement said.
Komnas Perempuan issued a statement on Saturday in protest of the police ban, calling on the police to uphold their “Constitutional mandate to protect and serve the public.”
The women activists said the event was a lawful activity, guaranteed in 12 articles of the Constitution.
“The event was not an unlawful activity, it didn’t disrupt public order and there was no reason for the police to not allow the event to go on,” the statement said. (evi)