The agenda for a gathering of ASEAN Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) activists in Jakarta has been cancelled after the organisers received several security threats from various parties.
“It’s true [it was cancelled in Jakarta]. We are relocating the agenda,” said ASEAN SOGIE Caucus Advocacy Officer Lini Zurlia on Wednesday, 12th July 2023.
Zurlia stated the gathering would still be held but did not explain in which region it would be relocated. However, reports indicate that it will be held outside of Indonesia.
This relocation effort was to ensure the safety of the participants and organisers.
“The organisers have been monitoring the situation very closely, including the anti-LGBT wave on social media. The decisions made ensure the safety and security of the participants and the committee,” the committee said in an official release quoted on Thursday, 13th July.
Regarding the meeting, the organisers emphasised that the purpose of the activity was a dialogue with marginalised groups, including those who are discriminated against based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and various sexual characteristics.
“Our shared vision of an inclusive ASEAN region is based on the existence of a safe space for civil society and rights-holders to learn about the institution. To discuss issues that are important to them,” explained the committee statement.
This event is also planned to discuss a number of issues regarding threats to the existence of life and dignity faced by the LGBTQIA+ group.
“Hate in cyberspace, direct attacks on human rights defenders, and reprisals against the implementation of civil and political rights are problems that we face and must be addressed by the government,” wrote the committee statement.
Previously, news circulated on social media that LGBT activists from ASEAN would hold a meeting in Jakarta in July 2023, uploaded by the Instagram account @aseansogiecaucus. However, this post has disappeared.
The police assessed that information on meetings of LGBT activists was spread through an account which has now been closed, according to the Security Intelligence Directorate of the Greater Jakarta Regional Metropolitan Police, Commissioner Hirbak Wahyu Setiawan.
Apart from that, Setiawan said that his party had also confirmed that the activity would not be held in Jakarta and has even been cancelled.
“When the information appeared, we checked that it wasn’t there. There wasn’t anyone who made the event, nor did anyone apply for permits or notifications,” he said.
Setiawan also confirmed that when the issue circulated, his party had checked all places in Jakarta to see if there was a location where the gathering of the LGBT support community would take place.