17 Jan 2019 - NPWJ News Digest on LGBTI Rights


Indonesia: Inadequate Efforts to Curb Intolerance
Human Rights Watch, 17 Jan 2019

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration took few steps in 2018 to protect the rights of marginalized groups in Indonesia, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019.
In August 2018, Jokowi issued a plea for religious tolerance in the context of continuing harassment and discrimination against religious and gender minorities. But authorities still arrest and prosecute people under the blasphemy law, and courts sentenced six to prison in 2018. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Indonesia have faced increasingly violent, intimidating, and humiliating police raids that violate their rights to privacy.

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Telangana prisons too prejudiced against transpersons
Indian Express, 17 Jan 2019

It’s a prison in a prison for transgender prisoners who find themselves in the jails of the State, as there is no Standard Operating Procedure in place to deal with each case. This issue came to light recently when an accused who claimed he is a transman (born a woman but adopted the identity of man) was arrested last week in Kushaiguda police limits for theft of cars.
The police, however, were in a fix where to send him as his appearance was that of a man. There was no clarity on the genitalia of the accused, which if that of a woman could land the prisoner in serious trouble with male inmates.

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Court Decisions on LGBT Rights Echo ‘A Wild Wish’
Jurist, 16 Jan 2019

More than two centuries ago Mary Wollstonecraft laid the foundations for feminist thought with a simple premise: lack of equal opportunity diminished individual self-worth and hobbled social progress. In A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), Wollstonecraft made a “wild wish” for equality between the sexes. When women are treated as less than equal in law and society, she argued, it affects not only the practicalities of everyday life, but encroaches on autonomy, dignity and agency.
Her arguments apply today to people marginalized by prevailing social norms, including those who do not conform to sexual and gender stereotypes. It is these same issues – autonomy, dignity, equality and agency – that were addressed in 2018 in three landmark court judgments in India, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana.

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Russia urged to investigate reports of LGBT+ crackdown in Chechnya
Reuters, 15 Jan 2019

The European Parliament urged Russia on Tuesday to investigate claims LGBT+ people in Chechnya are being detained and tortured, following reports of a fresh crackdown in the region.
The Russian LGBT Network, a rights group, said this week it had heard reports of “monstrous torture” of detainees in the predominantly Muslim region in recent weeks.
The allegations, which drew a swift denial from the local government, have sparked concern following a widely reported crackdown in Chechnya in 2017 in which more than 100 gay men were rounded up. 

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Some conservative Republicans get on board with certain LGBT bills in Virginia
The Washington Post, 15 Jan 2019

A Republican lawmaker from the Richmond suburbs is sponsoring a bill to protect gay and transgender Virginians from discrimination in housing — legislation that appears to have support for the first time from some conservative Republicans.
“We don’t live in 1980 anymore, and it’s time for us to get past this and not discriminate against a community when most people don’t have a problem with this community,” said Del. Roxann L. Robinson (R-Chesterfield), who formally announced her bill at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

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