Activists slam police inaction over transwoman burnt alive in North Jakarta

Detik News – April 7, 2020
Police press conference on Mira’s murder – April 8, 2020 (Tribrata News)

Mei Amelia R – A transgender woman named Mira has been burnt alive by a group of people in the Cilincing area of North Jakarta. The Sandya Institute has condemned the violence against Mira and is demanding justice.

“All of us at the Sandya Institute organisation condemn the incident and demand full justice for Mira. Waria and transwomen often fall victim to violence, both by local people as well as the police”, read a Sandya Institute press release received by on Tuesday April 7.

Mira was burnt alive on April 4. She was taken to the Koja Hospital but declared dead the following day. “Mira died at the Koja Hospital intensive care unit after being set alight by five local thugs”, read the statement.

The violence against Mira, which took place in the midst of the Covid-19 epidemic, has added to the pressure on transgender groups. The Sandya Institute highlighted a number of cases of violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people between 2006 and 2018.

“According to a report titled 12 Years of Persecution by Arus Pelangi [Rainbow Current], between 2006 and 2018 there were 1,850 incidents of persecution”, the group said.

In 2011, eight transwomen at the Taman Lawang Park in Central Jakarta were victims of shootings. To this day, the perpetrators have yet to be revealed and there has been no clarification from law enforcement officials.

The Sandya Institute is also demanding several things to address violence against LGBT groups:

1. The arrest and detention of three of the thugs which attacked Mira who remain at large.

2. A complete and transparent investigation, the results of which are available to the public, particularly to the LGBTIQ community.

3. A criminal trial that is fair, transparent and which sides with victims who are systematically oppressed the community, the state and the Indonesian legal system.

4. For the government to undertake efforts to rehabilitate other transwomen communities. (mei/fjp)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Aktivis Kecam Pembakaran Hidup-hidup Transgender Mira di Jakut”.]