If you live in the Netherlands, if you are a Persian speaker or if you only come to Amsterdam to enjoy Amsterdam Canal Pride parade 2017, we are here for you and we are here to offer you the useful and wonderful information about fantastic events in that time.
JNews has started a new section to publish about events in the Netherlands on Sexual Rights for Persian-speaking people.
Being a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual or queers is not easy, specially in a country such as Iran. LGBTI have to go through a lot. Coming out is one of them which is difficult. It costs a lot even our lives in some cases.
But Iranian LGBTI are fighting for their rights. They stand strong, learn to be brave and come out even though it can make the future difficult. Because it’s everybody’s right to be themselves.
Now, we would like to request you to come out in your support for LGBTI Rights. We understand that showing your support for LGBTI Rights in public might be difficult better than anyone. But it’s the time to take this difficult step with your fellow LGBTI and don’t leave them behind. Because it’s not about a person or an organization, but about Human Rights.
Please review short statement below in favor of LGBTI visibility, sign it by sending your logo and url to [email protected] to join.
Iranian LGBTI are raising bravely to take this huge step of coming out in Pride Amsterdam. We would like to ask you to step forward virtually.
We support LGBTIQ Rights for Iran
Ten years ago, the existence of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Intersex and Queer people (LGBTIQ) denied by the president of Iran at the time*. While only three years before that two teenagers has been hanged publicly in Mashhad, Iran who have been accused of sodomy**.
LGBTIQ Rights movement for Iran has become more and more active through years. Yet, it lacks public support and visibility.
Hereafter, we, Human Rights activists and organizations, announce our support for LGBTIQ Rights for Iran publicly. We believe LGBTIQ Rights is Human Rights and every human is equal to another in their rights. Every human being should have rights to be who they are and not to afraid of coming out.
We appeal to the people of Indonesia and our friends and supporters around the world to help protect the rights and health of all Indonesian citizens by supporting efforts to end the growing mistreatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Indonesia.
Our appeal follows several cases of human rights and privacy abuses over the last two months against over 150 men who have been unjustly detained, arrested and/or charged – and in two cases severely punished – simply because they allegedly had sex with other men or facilitated men to have sex with other men. The cases we refer to involve the caning of two young men in Aceh as well as two recent police raids, one at a hotel in Surabaya and another at a leisure establishment in Jakarta.
Our appeal also follows an anti-LGBT campaign over the last 12 months by government officials and conservative community groups in Indonesia which encourages this kind of violence, harassment and state-sponsored discrimination against LGBT people across Indonesia.
Firstly, the mistreatment of the men involves violations of natural justice, privacy and human rights not only in relation to the alleged sexual activity, but also in relation to forced HIV testing and the subsequent dissemination of test results to local media. These violations contravene not only many Indonesian laws but also Indonesia’s commitment to a range of international legal frameworks protecting the rights of individuals as well as members of cultural minorities.
Secondly, these violations threaten the privacy and human rights of all Indonesians. If local police are permitted to target one group of people in this way, then other individuals and groups in Indonesia are also potentially at risk of the same kind of treatment. If the law does not protect everyone, then ultimately it protects no one.
Thirdly, this campaign of persecution is also affecting the provision of HIV prevention, testing and treatment services to gay men and men who have sex with men (MSM). Fear of being targeted by police, other authorities and even neighbours is driving gay and MSM communities underground, making it much harder to deliver information and support to an already vulnerable group of people. This is a public health issue that should concern all Indonesians due to the growing impact that HIV is having on Indonesia’s health system.
Further to this, we note that the Indonesia Health Law (UU No 39 Year 2009) guarantees that implementation of health services shall be carried out with responsibility, safety and quality, and distributed evenly and non-discriminatively to all Indonesian people. In addition, the Indonesian government has a stated plan to cover the whole population with Universal Health Coverage (Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional) by 2019 with the following objectives as stated by Indonesia’s Minister of Health on 28/08/14:
To enable people accessing healthcare services without financial hardship
To perform cost contained and quality controlled healthcare services.
To strengthen healthcare services at primary and referral health facilities
To prioritize preventive and promotive measures in rendering healthcare services to reduce prevalence of diseases, lower the numbers of sick-people with efficient healthcare services.
Finally, responding to the plight of others with empathy and benevolence is an essential part of our common humanity. Imagine being subjected to the trauma and humiliation these men have endured, or the discrimination and exclusion that Indonesia’s LGBT community is experiencing, simply for expressing love or a gender identity.
The unwarranted treatment of these men, and the increasingly virulent campaign against Indonesia’s LGBT community, seeks to position LGBT people as ‘outsiders’ and a ‘threat to society’. However, LGBT people are just like everyone else – everyday people and fellow citizens who work hard to create a better life for themselves, their families and their community. As such we appeal to the people of Indonesia and our supporters across the world to join our efforts to ensure these men and all LGBT Indonesians are afforded the legal rights and health services to which they are entitled as citizens, and the compassion and dignity to which they are entitled as human beings.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
Share this statement with family, friends and colleagues to create awareness about this issue.
Contact Indonesian government representatives or embassies to protest against the treatment of the men and the campaign against Indonesia’s LGBT community.
All Out – non-profit organisation that mobilises local organisations and activists around the world to push for equality for LGBT people
ARC International – organisation with a full-time presence in Geneva committed to advancing LGBT issues within the UN human rights system
ASEAN SOGIE Caucus – Southeast Asian community network advocating on issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression
Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network – international organisation working to defend the rights of people affected by HIV, from women, newcomers, and gay men, to prisoners, people who use drugs, sex workers, and MSM
COC – Dutch LGBTI organisation with a special consultative status with the United Nations
Council for Global Equality – US advocacy organisation seeking to US foreign policy that’s inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity
“Not all countries are equal when it comes to cyber security and internet freedom. Many are poorly equipped to handle cyber attacks, while others are better equipped but more frequently targeted. Some countries boast free and open internet, while others impose strict censorship systems that block access to the web and punish citizens for what they post.” – said by Richard Patterson
When it comes to topic of Internet Freedom, no one expects to hear lot of good stories about Iran! Iranian government has been providing one of the most limited, low speed, bad quality and highly censored internet in the world.
New info-graphic from CompriTech pulled together data from 10 different sources to provide a comprehensive picture of which countries have the best and worst track record in terms of Internet freedom and cybersecurity in which Iran has been rated as second worst country in the field of Internet Freedom.
For complete info-graphic, please visit this link.
For the very first time, Iran is going to be represented in Amsterdam Canal Pride Parade 2017. This would be the first time that “Iran” is going to be any LGBTI pride parade in Europe.
JoopeA who is one of the main organizers of this event, has started a registration form for those who would like to come on the boat and show that “We are rock and this is our pride!”
The registration is open to Persian-speaking community all over the world from now to June 10th, 2017. Capacity of the boat is limited. Don’t forget to register as soon as possible.
You can sent your RSVP to [email protected] in case you are not Persian-speaking but you would like to come on the boat.
An extra-ordinary experience about an extra-ordinary evening
On March 3rd, 2017, JoopeA office has been attacked. Here is a personal experience of Elham and Iman who were among witnesses.
Elham: That day was the first day in the entire existence of JoopeA and our professional work that we eventually have had somewhere we could name it as our office and we were able to sit back, be cool and have some guests to have a small talk about what we are doing and what we are hoping to be able to do.
I was in my out days of study but of course not in so-called Holidays because I was counted on those days to go to the office, manage and finish some works and run some workshops for some of the possible volunteers who wants to join us.
That day was a busy day between those days. Since noon Raham and I were in office to work. When we reached to the office we could recognise the smell of burning. and the smell became stronger while we were behind our door.
We set, we did talk with the first volunteer and between two meetings we had a short conversation and we had about an hour to work. We had our second guest and the conversion was going well while our new guests have arrived.
One of our guests was queer and also she was politically and socially active in the area and as she explained later she wanted to work together with us to make a friendly and safe place for LGBTQ people in the neighbourhood and of course we were enthusiastic and we wanted to know more about her ideas and how she wanted to negotiate with the municipality of district. We were five sitting around and having drinks, common interest to speak out and common concern to work together and another two of us came later.
We were in the middle of the conversation when we heard someone is shouting loudly and after we denied him, he made it harder and louder. We continued the conversation but he did not stop and he started to damage and break some furnish and later on expensive work stuff which was absolutely out of control. We preferred to be calm and do not respond to the stimulation and incitement from him until he threw something heavy to our window.
We were on the topic about what should we do when he opened the door carefully and sprinkled few drops of dirty red water to Raham’s face. we took Raham back, I collected my stuff while another one called the police and explained to them the situation. I had to go to tell our friend as well but in the meanwhile, I was worried about that moment and others which I went to leave behind. I said goodbye to the guests and Raham came with me to the entrance door. I was mostly worried about one of us who was not in the good circumstance to stay there that’s why I asked Raham to send him out before everything is getting more complicated.
I was worried, I could hear the sirens of police cars and was thinking about any possible incident which could be happened. We’ve survived from this harmful experience and even though we could remember the struggling and frightful situation we passed when we were working in Iran. And this day just reminds us again the standard of safe work which we need to provide anywhere and anytime.
Iman: That evening was the second time which I went to JoopeA’s newest office to have a meeting with five other colleagues and two guests. As we were busy discussing some issues related to LGBTIQ community, I could hear someone in another room of the office was destroying the furniture while shouting and screaming. My colleagues tried to talk to him and calm him down, but that didn’t stop him.
I have never been in a same situation before. I was so scared. I felt extremely unsafe in that moment, my body was shaking, I was afraid of him coming to our room and hurt us which he came while his hand was bleeding. I tried to take distance from him and then someone took him out of the room and we contacted the police.
I left the office with a colleague and went to our friend’s apartment which was nearby and the rest locked themselves in that room to take care of the office until the police came. I was really worried about them the whole time, because you never know how far a violent person like him can go.
We couldn’t continue our meeting that night and after what happened, I don’t know how we can feel safe in that office again, especially the ones who work there every day.