Suara Kita, Indonesia
On 29 August 2020, police barged into a private apartment where 56 males were gathered. Nine of them are presently being held in custody accused of violating existing anti-pornography laws.
How does Suara Kita view the raid and what are the possible effects in terms of the advocacy for equality?
This highlights that LGBQTI communities in Indonesia are still vulnerable. While there are no laws that criminalize being LGBTQ in Indonesia, other existing laws, the anti-pornography law in this instance, can be used to target the community.
We also think that these raids are aimed at distracting public attention from other important and pressing issues. Similar raids in the past have also occurred during times where there were other national issues.
As LGBTQI issues gain more public attention this instance, it can add to the stigmatization and negative stereotyping. It furthermore adds to the stigmatization of the community.
However, the raid and other similar issues can also be opportunities to reach out to potential allies. Families can become more aware of LGBTQI issues. We can build on the support from the families and raise awareness about sexual diversity. In Indonesia, family relationships are very important and families can be strong allies in our goal for raising awareness and acceptance.
This also tells us to work with other groups we have not worked with before; and to mainstream diversity, equality and non-discrimination. Suara Kita’s stand on the Kuningan raid is that it should be viewed as rights issues. The right to privacy, assembly and to gather in private spaces are basic rights which are protected. Also, protocols aimed at addressing COVID-19 should not be used to target specific populations.
What responses are available from Suara Kita in incidents like this?
We are committed to extending support to cases where LGBTQI community’s rights are affected and violated. Suara Kita initiates fundraising and we can offer referrals for counselling, psychosocial support and other needs. The responses will be based on our case assessment.
How can other organizations extend support?
Organizations who want to support, should coordinate with organizations in Indonesia who are extending their support to similar cases.