U.N. Rights Chief Slams Indonesia Proposal to Outlaw Gay, Extramarital Sex

Society | February 7, 2018, Wednesday // 10:43| Views: | Comments: 0
  • Send to Kindle
Bulgaria: U.N. Rights Chief Slams Indonesia Proposal to Outlaw Gay, Extramarital Sex pixabay.com

The United Nations human rights chief on Wednesday criticized proposals in Indonesia’s parliament to criminalize gay sex and extramarital sex, saying such laws could hurt the country’s beleaguered LGBT community and other minorities, writes Reuters.

Zeid Ra‘ad Al Hussein said he had raised the issue with President Joko Widodo during a three-day visit to the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, where hostility toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community has risen sharply in recent years.

“Discussions of (revisions to the criminal code) betray strains of intolerance seemingly alien to Indonesian culture that have made inroads here,” Zeid told a news briefing, adding that he believed the proposed rules were “discriminatory”.

“The hateful rhetoric against the LGBT community that is being cultivated seemingly for cynical political purposes will only deepen their suffering and create unnecessary divisions,” he said.

Indonesia’s parliament is currently deliberating revisions to a Dutch colonial-era criminal code, including proposals to outlaw sex outside marriage, same-sex relations, and co-habitation, all of which were previously unregulated by law.

The revisions have broad support in parliament, where few politicians have stood up for LGBT rights for fear of alienating a largely conservative voter base ahead of legislative and presidential elections next year.

Many officials in President Widodo’s government have said LGBT people, like other citizens, should be free from discrimination and violence. But top officials, including the president, have said that Indonesia’s cultural and religious norms do not accept the LGBT movement.

Activists have raised concerns that, if approved, the new rules could violate basic rights and be misused to target minorities.

Currently, Indonesian law does not regulate homosexuality, except in the ultra-conservative Islamic province of Aceh.

Zeid, a member of the Jordanian royal family who has been in the U.N. post since 2014, said Indonesia was among the most progressive states in Southeast Asia on human rights.

 

But he also urged Jakarta to address past atrocities - like the 1965 massacre of nearly half a million suspected communists, - and human rights abuses in the easternmost province of Papua, and the use of the death penalty.

“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 said.

Society » Be a reporter: Write and send your article
Tags: same sex, lgtb, Indonesia, U.N.
Expats.bg All Are Welcome! Join Now!
Advertisement
Advertisement
Please, log in to post a comment.
» To the forumComments (0)
Bulgaria news Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria