Solidarity and courage amidst increasing violence against LGBTIQ persons in Indonesia
On 27 January 2018, approximately 10 beauty salons in North Aceh, Indonesia became subject to raids and 12 transgender women were arrested. They were forced to cut and shave their hair, stripped of their clothes, verbally harassed, and subjected to physical and mental therapies in an attempt to make them more “masculine”. On the pretenses of protecting public morals, the women were subjected to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and punishment. The raids and arrests were part of the Aceh government's policy directive on "Eradication of Community Disease” and counter terrorism.
This act of violence is the most recent in a wave of persecution by government and extremist civilian forces against transgender and LGBIQ persons in Indonesia, including last year's public flogging of two men on charges of committing consensual sexual relations.
We urge the government of Indonesia to uphold its human rights obligations to respect and protect the rights of all persons, including ceasing, stopping and preventing all the violence against LGBTIQ persons in Aceh. We call on the international community to remain vigilant on the matter and condemn the actions of Aceh’s police force. We call on NHRI’s in Indonesia to monitor the human rights situation and undertake on-site inspection of places where the risk of human rights violations is high. We express solidarity to fellow LGBTIQ advocates in Indonesia, continue your bravery in upholding human rights and dignity amidst the brewing violence by extremist groups.