02/04/2016, 10.16
INDONESIA

LGBT seminar broken up by Muslim extremists

Mathias Hariyadi

A dozen members of Islam Defenders Front raided a Jakarta hotel, where the meeting on human rights was taking place. After hours of threats and negotiations with police, participants were evacuated for "security reasons".

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - A seminar on the rights of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people) being held yesterday at a hotel in the center of Jakarta, was forcibly suspended by a dozen members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) a local fundamentalist movement.  A few hours before the event, with scheduled interventions by human rights groups and activists, the mob raided the meeting location demanding its suspension.

Mering, one of the participants in the seminar, told AsiaNews that the forum has been suspended for security reasons: "Hours of negotiations with members of the FPI in the Menteng district police station resulted in nothing, and eventually all the participants were told to leave the hotel. "

The debate on the rights of LGBT persons has reignited in Indonesia, after the case of SGRC (Support and Research Group on sexual studies) which was denied permission by the Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education, Muhammad Nasir, to operate within the University of Indonesia because "against the moral of the State" and the culture of the country.

In the past, members of the FPI have  been protagonists of targeted campaigns and attacks against Christians, in their wave of protests against "illegal rituals and celebrations " in buildings without the so-called building permit (IMB). In late 2014, the police declared war on the group.

A few days ago, the FPI also received the warning of the mayor of Bandung, West Java, who invited the Radicals to tone down the rhetoric against gay people, after the group had raided a college thinking it was the seat of LGBT meetings .

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