UN human rights commissioner warns Indonesia over crackdown on LGBTQ community

The UN human rights commissioner has warned Indonesia that it must stop its crackdown on the LGBTQ community and protect the minority from rising intolerance in the country.

Speaking in Jakarta, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said that Indonesia had a progressive track record when it came to human rights, but that it’s failures to the LGBTQ community could be damaging.

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

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He said: “The hateful rhetoric against this community that is being cultivated seemingly for cynical political purposes will only deepen their suffering and create unnecessary divisions.

“Indonesia has since 1998 managed to transition to democracy and couple it with strong economic growth.

“At a time when it is consolidating its democratic gains, we urge Indonesians to move forward – not backwards – on human rights.

“There are some dark clouds on the horizon but … I hope the common sense and strong tradition of tolerance of the Indonesian people will prevail over populism and political opportunism,” he added.

Al Hussein’s comments after the government carried out a number of raids and arrests on LGBTQ people.

GiveOut is aiming to eliminate the violence in countries where the LGBTQI community is not accepted (Photo credit should read CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP/Getty Images)

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Legislation is also being introduced in the country which would make it illegal to have same-sex relations and sex outside of marriage.

The proposed amendment to the penal code has been slammed by Al Hussein, who said that the “discriminatory provisions need to be removed”.

Currently, homosexuality is legal in Indonesia except for in the Aceh province, where Islamic law is enforced.

The bill, which reportedly has support from all 10 of the country’s main political parties, could pass in the next two weeks.

TAKENGON, INDONESIA: An Acehnese executor flogs a convicted woman in Takengon, in Indonesian central Aceh province, 19 August 2005 after an Islamic sharia court ordered four women to be flogged for petty gambling offences. The public lashing was the second since the Indonesian government allowed the western province to implement religious law as part of broader autonomy granted in 2001 to curb a separatist Islamist insurgency. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
(Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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