'It's Dangerous': Sinaga Case Fuels LGBT Backlash in Indonesia
Aljazeera - Jakarata, Indonesia, 1/27/2020
The recent media coverage around Indonesian exchange student Reynhard Sinaga, who sexually assaulted nearly 200 men in Manchester, has received major backlash from the Indonesian LGBTQIA+ community for its homophobic nature. Instead of focusing on the real problem of sexual abuse, the local news coverage on the case had paid more attention to Sinaga’s sexual orientation, furthering stereotypes that gay men are ‘predatory’. This form of homophobic reporting has sparked further stigma and hate against the LGBTQIA+ community in Indonesia, leading to Mayor Mohammad Idris announcing raids specifically targeting the community. Though Indonesia's parliament has debated introducing laws criminalising same-sex conduct on several occasions over the years, with the exception of the autonomous, remote region of Aceh, homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia.
Dedicated Centre to Tackle Online Sex Abuse of Kids to Come Up in Kerala
News18 - Kerala, India, 1/25/2020
A dedicated centre to tackle online sexual abuse of children in Kerala, working in coordination with Interpol, National Crime Records Bureau, among others, will come into being on January 26, 2020, and will be inaugurated by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The facility, which will have 70 officers, had already constituted a team back in March 2019, and has till now arrested 42 people from across the state and registered 38 cases of child sexual abuse and for spreading child pornography. Apart from this, the state police will also launch the Children and Police project which will implement various projects for children. As part of this project, there will also be a 24x7 call center to receive information on anything that is concerned with children.
Mauritania: Gay Couple Arrested in Nouakchott after Marriage
The North Africa Post, Mauritania, 1/24/2020
Police in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott has detained a gay couple after their union sparked an outcry in the North African country, which criminalises homosexuality. The defendants are set to appear before a court, a Moroccan news outlet reported. The Mauritian penal code condemns homosexuality, and those convicted for it can even face the death penalty. Reportedly, the police have also detained several attendees at the wedding. Records suggest that despite the existence of the anti-gay law, the Mauritanian LGBTQIA+ community has hardly been targeted by legal authorities before this. However, LGBTQIA+ people in Mauritania do experience marginalisation and stigma, and often do not receive health benefits, especially in cases involving HIV and AIDS.
Activists Seek Action in Violence, Abuse Against Sex Workers
The New Indian Express - Tamil Nadu, India, 1/23/2020
Every second person involved in voluntary sex work faces some kind of violence, according to a survey conducted by Sarvojana, a coalition of NGOs working towards the empowerment of sex workers. The survey covered 1,000 female sex workers in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Pune. The results of the survey also showed that 63 per cent of those surveyed feared consequences for taking legal action. Out of the 50 per cent who faced violence, only 2 per cent sought legal action. Earlier on January 21, 2020, SIAAP, along with Vadamalar Federation of Voluntary Sex Workers in Tamil Nadu, conducted a discussion with Tiruchy Range police personnel where sex workers shared their testimonies of violence and sought support from law enforcement.
Ecuador’s LGBT+ Community Seen Suffering Deadliest Year in a Decade
Reuters - Mexico City, Mexico, 1/22/2020
2019 was the deadliest year in at least a decade for gay and transgender people in Ecuador, with 16 murders or violent deaths involving LGBTQIA+ people in the country, according to a report released by the LGBTQIA+ rights group Silueta X Association. The group said these were the highest numbers recorded since it began keeping track of violence against LGBTQIA+ people in 2010, and most of the victims were transgender women. LGBTQIA+ rights activists have said the rise in violence could be a backlash to the recent legalisation of same-sex marriage in the country - which still tends to have conservative attitudes to homosexuality. The report was based on both media coverage of LGBTQIA+ deaths, as well as complaints lodged with Silueta X directly.