SECURITY CONCERNS LEAD TO CANCELLATION OF ASEAN LGBT ACTIVISTS MEETING IN JAKARTA
Organizers prioritize safety as threats prompt relocation of event, highlighting challenges of LGBTQIA+ inclusion in Indonesia.
The planned meeting of ASEAN LGBT activists in Jakarta has been canceled due to security threats received by the organizers. The meeting, known as ASEAN Queer Advocacy Week, will now be held outside of Indonesia.
"The organizers have closely monitored the situation, including the wave of anti-LGBT sentiments on social media. The decision was made to ensure the safety and security of participants and organizers," the committee stated in an official release on Thursday, July 13, 2023.
The organizers aimed to engage in dialogue with marginalized groups, including those facing discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and other sexual characteristics. They emphasized the vision of an inclusive ASEAN region, where safe spaces exist for civil society and rights holders to learn and discuss important issues.
The event planned to address various challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ groups, such as online hatred, direct attacks on human rights defenders, and retaliation against the exercise of civil and political rights.
News about the meeting had circulated on social media, but the Instagram account @aseansogiecaucus, which initially shared the information, has since disappeared.
In response to the news, the Deputy Chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), Anwar Abbas, urged the government not to permit the meeting. Anwar emphasized that the event would violate the provisions of the constitution, as Indonesia is based on the belief in the One Supreme God. He stated that LGBT practices are contrary to the values of religious teachings.
Muhammad Taufik Zoelkifli (MTZ), Secretary I of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) Faction in the Jakarta Regional People's Representative Council (DPRD), requested that the Jakarta Provincial Government reject the meeting. MTZ cited contradictions with religious norms and the Pancasila ideology, the state ideology of Indonesia.
The police director of intelligence and security confirmed that the LGBT activists' meeting was disseminated through a closed account and assured that the event would not take place in Jakarta. The police had thoroughly checked hotels and locations in the city, finding no evidence of the planned gathering.
The cancellation of the meeting reflects the challenges faced in reconciling the rights and inclusivity of the LGBTQIA+ community with societal norms and religious values in Indonesia.
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