ASEAN Queer Advocacy Week in Jakarta cancelled for 'safety of participants'

CNN Indonesia – July 12, 2023
ASEAN SOGIE Caucus advocacy officer Lini Zurliya – Undated (Lini Zurliya)

Jakarta – An ASEAN Queer Advocacy Week (AAW) meeting of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) activists organised by the ASEAN SOGIE Caucus that was to be held in Jakarta has been cancelled.

"Correct [it's been cancelled]", ASEAN SOGIE Caucus Advocacy Officer Lini Zurlia told CNN Indonesia on Wednesday July 12.

Zurlia said that the event has been moved to a different location, although she did not explain where. Zurlia said that the relocation was to ensure the safety of the participants and organisers.

"We relocated the event for the safety of both the organisers as well as the participants", she said.

Wave of opposition

Earlier, a wave of opposition to the event came from Islamic ormas (social or mass organisations). Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) Deputy Chairperson Anwar Abbas asked the government not to issue a permit for the event.

Abbas believes that if the government had allowed the meeting to go ahead, it would be just the same as violating the stipulations set out in the Constitution.

"MUI warned and appealed to the government not to allow or issue a permit for the organisation of the event", said Abbas in a statement on Tuesday July 11.

A similar sentiment was also conveyed by Jakarta provincial Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) Commission B member M Taufik Zoelkifli from the Islamic based Justice and Prosperity Party (PKS). He asked the Jakarta provincial government to prohibit the event from being held in the capital.

"I asked the tourism office to prohibit it because it is not in line with our culture, not in line with [the state ideology of] Pancasila, and not in line with our religion", said Zoelkifli during a Commission B working meeting at the DPRD building in Jakarta on Wednesday.

While he claimed that he is happy if Jakarta is visited by many foreign tourists, he said that there must be a filter on any activities held in Jakarta.

"We're happy if there are tourists, particularly foreign tourists coming to Jakarta, but then there needs to be a filter, because we have a culture, have Pancasila, we have a religion", he said.

Meanwhile the Metro Jaya Regional Police (Polda) are still at the stage of trying to finding out it the information on the meeting is true.

"The Polda is currently also trying to find out, is it true or not, is it true it's in Jakarta or not", said Metro Jaya Director of Intelligence and Security Senior Commissioner Hirbak Wahyu Setiawan when contacted on Tuesday.

Setiawan said that so far, based on the results of the investigation being carried out, they have not yet found any further information on the event. "So far no one has submitted [a request for a] permit and there has not been any notification", he said. (yoa/rzr/ain)


According to English language media reports, the ASEAN Queer Advocacy Week, which was to be held on July 17-21, was jointly organised by the ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, a regional network of LGBT rights groups based in the Philippines, the Indonesian LGBT advocacy rights group Arus Pelangi, and other activists.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Pertemuan LGBT se-ASEAN Batal Digelar di Jakarta".]