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.
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.
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.