Islamic protesters urge Depok government to ratify anti-LGBT regulation

CNN Indonesia – February 1, 2020
Islamic protesters rally in front of Depok mayor’s office – January 31, 2020 (CNN)

Jakarta – A number of protesters opposing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people in the Jakarta satellite city of Depok held an audience at the Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) offices at the Depok town hall on Friday January 31. During the audience, the protesters called for Depok City to immediately ratify a draft regional regulation (Raperda) against LGBT.

Erik, one of the representatives of the protesters urged the Depok municipal government to immediately ratify a draft anti-LGBT regulation which he believes will become a spark for the drafting of a law against LGBT which could be included in the National Legislation Program.

“So on a national scale it can initiate the birth of an anti-LGBT law in Indonesia”, said Erik during the audience on Friday January 31.

As reported earlier, since 2019 the Depok Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) has been studying an anti-LGBT regional regulation. As of July, seven political party factions in the Depok DPRD have agreed to the regulation although the process is still in the study phase.

Responding to the proposal, Depok City Public Order Agency Head Lienda Ratnanurdianny stated that in relation to the draft regulation, up until now they are waiting on agreement from the DPRD because, according to Ratnanurdianny, the draft law was a proposal from the DPRD.

Dealing LGBT people in Depok, he said, cannot be done in a reckless manner because it will give rise to allegations of persecution. So far the Satpol PP has only conducted guidance by coordinating with the owners of boarding houses and apartments in Depok.

Moreover, Ratnanurdianny also explained that the raids which are frequently conducted by Satpol PP officers in Depok are in accordance with Government Regulation (Perda) Number 16/2012 which includes a prohibition on immoral acts. The Perda, according to Ratnanurdianny, covers all immoral acts, not just those committed by LGBT people.

“Moreover in our country, right, there is presumption of innocence. Especially if they’re proven not to have done anything”, said Ratnanurdianny.

The protesters from the Enlighten the Country Alliance also held a demonstration in front of the Depok town hall on Friday during which they rejected the presence of LGBT people in Depok and called for the immediate ratification of the draft anti-LGBT regulation.

During the action the protesters said that recent statements by the Depok Mayor Muhammad Idris, including those on anti-LGBT raids and prostitution were just a gimmick without any concrete actions to prevent or resolve the problem.

In a speech, action coordinator Ahmad, from the Indonesian Muslim Students Action Front (KAMMI), touched on the case of Raynhard Sinaga, a Depok resident who became a sexual predator in Britain. Ahmad also said that Idris has been inconsistent and hesitant about eradicating LGBT groups in Depok.

“So today, we and our colleagues have decided here to jointly urge the Depok mayor to ratify the anti-LGBT Raperda”, said Ahmad in a speech Friday.

Moreover, according to Ahmad there are currently many LGBT groups living in apartments and hotels in Depok. He also paid special attention to prostitution in Depok which he said is widespread.

On this issue, Ahmad said that the Idris’ statement on LGBT and prostitution were just a gimmick without concrete steps to prevent and resolve the problem. “Without preventative measures, without concrete steps to resolve it on the ground. That’s the problem”, said Ahmad. (thr/ain)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Massa Demo Desak Walkot Depok Segera Sahkan Raperda Anti-LGBT”.]