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Kontras appreciates UN Special Rapporteur remarks on LGBT discrimination

Kompas.com - February 6, 2018

Robertus Belarminus, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) has expressed its appreciation to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein for raising human rights issues during his visit to Indonesia, including the issue of LGBT rights.

Kontras international advocacy desk coordinator Fatia Maulidiyanti said that what was done by Zeid was a positive achievement in preventing discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

"When we get news like this, we can say, this is a good achievement", said Fatia at the Kontras offices in Jakarta on Tuesday February 6.

Fatia said that LGBT groups in Indonesia are vulnerable to discrimination and criminalisation, especially so if seen from the perspective the revisions to the Criminal Code (RKUHP) that are being deliberated by the government and House of Representatives (DPR).

Fatia gave as an example the persecution of transgender women (waria) in Aceh. "LGBT groups are very, very vulnerable to discrimination in Indonesia bearing in mind that the RKUHP will criminalise LGBT behaviour", said Fatia.

And it is not just the issue of LGBT. Fatia hopes that Zeid will also highlight and at the same time push the Indonesian government to resolve past human rights cases.

"One point can be made, like in the statement it is clear that the UN along with civil society and the Indonesian government will push for human rights improvements in their entirety, case by case", said Fatia.

Touching on LGBT discrimination

Earlier, Human Rights and Justice Minister Yasonna H Laoly said that Zeid touched on the issue of LGBT in his meeting with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. "He (Zeid) said that we cannot discriminate (against LGBT people)", said Laoly after accompanying Widodo during the meeting.

Laoly said that the LGBT issue has was highlighted by the UN because of the articles being discussed between the government and the DPR in the RKUHP.

He said that he would have further discussions on the LGBT issue in follow up meetings. "But Indonesia has a culture and beliefs that the promotion, promoting (LGBT) publically is unacceptable", said Laoly.

Laoly said that the government will not discriminate against those who have a different sexual orientation but, according to Laoly, there must still be proscriptions against LGBT behaviour.

"I also had discussions on how we must be really careful so that people do not do things that are counterproductive, such as persecution", said Laoly.

"On a related issue, we in Indonesia must also still respect the rights of all people whether they be a minority religion, a marginalised group and (Zeid) believes that Pak President Indonesia [Widodo] can do the right thing", he said.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Kontras Apresiasi Komisioner Tinggi HAM PBB yang Singgung Diskriminasi LGBT.]

Source: http://nasional.kompas.com/read/2018/02/06/16272281/kontras-apresiasi-komisioner-tinggi-ham-pbb-yang-singgung-diskriminasi-lgbt.

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