Indonesia summons UK ambassador over raising of LGBT+ flag

Indonesia has criticised the UK over the British embassy’s decision to fly a LGBT+ flag in Jakarta earlier this month.

A rainbow flag was flown on 17 May to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

Angered by the incident, the Indonesian government summoned Britain’s ambassador on Monday to explain the embassy’s actions.

“The foreign ministry reminds foreign representatives to be respectful of the sensitivities among Indonesians on matters relevant with their culture, religion and belief,” it said in a statement.

Jakarta noted that under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations only national flags may be raised at embassies.

Although homosexuality is currently illegal in the provinces of Aceh and South Sumatra but not elsewhere in Indonesia, the country is growing less tolerant of same-sex relationships, human rights campaigners have claimed.

This comes as politicians seek to clamp down on sexual freedoms, with parliament planning to revise the criminal code, including clauses affecting the LGBT+ community.

Despite homosexuality not being banned at the federal level, LGBT+ people have already been targeted under other pieces of legislation, according to the Human Dignity Trust.

“In recent years there has been an ongoing crackdown against LGBT+ people,” it said.

As well as arbitrary detentions resulting from raids on venues frequented by gay men, some people have been convicted for their sexuality under a 2008 anti-pornography law, the Human Dignity Trust added.

Responding to the raising of a LGBT+ flag by the UK embassy, an influential Islamic movement called Alumni 212 Brotherhood said it sullied the “sacred values of Indonesia”.

The latest furore comes soon after a well-known Indonesian podcast was forced to withdraw an episode, after an interview with a same-sex couple sparked a backlash.


Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.

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