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Three transgender women hosed down with fire truck to 'cleanse impurities'

VOA Indonesia - November 4, 2018

Rio Tuasikal – Raids conducted without legal grounds have again occurred against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people. Three transgender women in Lampung province, North Sumatra, were hosed down with water from a fire truck in an action which has been slammed as "inhuman" and "arbitrary".

The raid was carried out by Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) officers in West Pesisir Barat regency in Lampung on the evening of Friday November 2. The officers arrested the three – who were accused of being LGBT – at a tourist area in Labuhan Jukung.

They then hosed them down with water from a fire truck (damkar) in what was referred to as mandi wajib – an Islamic bathing ritual required to cleanse impurity after sex or seminal discharge.

The Community Legal Aid Foundation (LBH Masyarakat) has condemned the Satpol PP's actions because they had no legal basis.

"If there is one article that was violated just try and find the criminal provision. [Conversely] did they [the Satpol PP] commit an inhuman act by hosing down a parson at night with water from a fire truck? Are there sanctions such as this in the Perda [by-laws]? There isn't", asserted LBH Masyarakat public defender Naila Rizki.

During the raid, the officers took photographs of the three transgender women which were then disseminated on Lampung social media. In practical terms, the three became targets.

"What kind of guidance is this? Is guidance like that? Of course not. Meaning that one, they misused their authority. Second, that they violated the law. And third, their aim was indeed to torture a person, debase the dignity of a person. So their aim was not upholding a Perda but their version of morality", asserted Rizki.

LGBT support groups in Lampung have called on local officials to respect the rights of all people as citizens.

"My message to government officials, whether they be police, Satpol PP, the TNI [Indonesian military] and the like, please see us, LGBT people as human beings. Regardless of our different (sexual) orientation, we have the same rights as other Indonesian citizens", said an LGBT community activist who wished to remain anonymous.

Raids against LGBT groups have continued throughout 2018 despite having no legal basis. In early October police raided what they called a "gay party" in Jakarta and paraded the faces of the men on television. Meanwhile in late October a beauty contest to promote education about HIV/AIDS in Bali was cancelled due to objections by anti-LGBT groups.

In 2017 LBH Masyarakat recorded 973 cases of people falling victim to stigmatisation, discrimination and violence based on their sexual orientation. As many as 715 of these involved transgender people.

Out of these cases, there were 69 which involved discrimination in the form of persecution, criminalisation, violations of the right to education, the forcible breaking up of events and other human rights violations and violence.

A Saiful Mujani Research & Consulting (SMRC) survey conducted in January found that 81.5 percent of Indonesians believe that gay and lesbian "acts" are prohibited by religion. Only 58.3 percent of respondents however admitted that they knew what LGBT was. (rt)

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Razia dan Semprot LGBT di Lampung "Tidak Manusiawi".]

Source: https://www.voaindonesia.com/a/razia-dan-semprot-lgbt-di-lampung-tidak-manusiawi-/4644049.html.

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