Indonesian authorities must end cruel and inhuman punishment of LGBTQIA+ community

In the Indonesian province of Aceh, authorities conducted at least 60 public floggings against 254 LGBTQIA+ people in 2020, 52 of which were conducted after the COVID-19 outbreak started. We can’t stand by and allow the LGBTQIA+ community to be targeted like this.

On Thursday 28 January 2021, two men were flogged in public for allegedly participating in consensual same-sex relations. They were caned 77 times each.

International law prohibits torture and ‘cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment’. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Committee have made it clear that flogging amounts at the very least to cruel and inhuman punishment. No one deserves to be brutalised and humiliated in this way.

Amnesty International Australia has written to the Indonesian Ambassador to Australia calling on him to work towards ending these cruel and inhuman practices.

This isn’t just about the Indonesian government though. The Australia-Indonesia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership should be centred on human rights. Amnesty International Australia has forwarded the letter to the Ambassador to Minister Marise Payne, Shadow Minister Penny Wong and Senator Janet Rice, calling for Australia to also pressure Indonesia to act.

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Joel MacKay is a campaigner at Amnesty International Australia.