Recorded abuses against LGBT 'the tip of the iceberg'

Published: May 30, 2013

 Forum LGBT Indonesia, a coalition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, has recorded 47 cases of abuse against gay individuals across the country over the last year, a figure it says is only the tip of the iceberg.

The coalition said on Tuesday that it had collected and studied 47 reports of violence and discrimination against the gay community from 21 local NGOs promoting LGBT rights, with transgender individuals (29 cases) being the most targeted victims, followed by lesbians (12 cases) and gays (six cases).

Cases of violence include bullying, physical attacks, verbal abuse and murder. Instances of discrimination include exclusion in the workplace and criminalization.

These cases are perpetrated by institutional and personal actors. Institutional actors include policemen and public order personnel. Personal actors include families, neighbors, vigilantes and religious-based mass organizations, such as the Islam Defenders Front (FPI).

“There was one incident in Makassar, South Sulawesi, in which a 17-year-old girl was reported to the police by her parents because they had discovered her to be a lesbian. The police then detained her for four days before setting her free again. This constitutes discrimination in law, perpetrated by personal and institutional actors,” Khanis Suvianta, the research coordinator, said.

“Physical violence also includes murder. Three transgender individuals had been murdered in 2012, one in Yogyakarta and two in Jakarta,” Khanis added.

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