On Sunday, January 28th, Amsterdam was hosting the annual True Colors event. the COC Nederland organized this annual event this year for the sixth time with participants from more than two thousand Queer Rights Activists from more than three hundred different organizations.
In the past years, known members of the COC or reputed politicians started the ceremony. But this year True Colors started with delegates from six organizations. Those organizations were selected as the headliners of Queer Rights in The Netherlands. The selection was based on their influence in The Netherlands and their mission.
We are very glad that JoopeA was among those six. The other selected organizations were: “Pos en Proud” in support of HIV positive LGBTIQs, “Roze 50+” supporters of queers who are older than 50, “Gerda Kreeft” supporters of deaf queers, “Expreszo” a publisher with more than thirty years of experience which has been running by teenage and young queers and “Trans United” which supports transgender people in The Netherlands.
JoopeA Foundation held IranPride in The Netherlands for the first time in 2017. This event was the biggest gathering of Iranians with different ethnicities, political opinions, genders and sexual orientations in support of Human Rights of LGBTIQ people. Additionally, JoopeA’s members who have a long history as human rights defenders are part of the founders and organizers of IranPride day in 2010. Iran Pride day is the last Friday of July and is being celebrated since 2010.
COC chose JoopeA as one of the most progressive groups regarding Queer Rights in The Netherlands and one of the headliners, because of the importance and difficulty of JoopeA’s activities which increases acceptance and tolerance for LGBTIQ people in societies such as Iran.
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
We take security very serious. There is no doubts about it. This is why we double check everything from security view point. We have two high tech security advisers who are from top 10 security advisers, partners with Google and Facebook, etc. Qurium who host our platforms on their servers and Cure53 a group of pen-test company. Additionally, we put our platforms in Hacker One a group of white hackers for security audits.
But what take us to that point to make every section on our websites public? what logic is behind this?
We believe “Private” is an illusion when it comes to online life. Everything marked as “Private” is being watched by website owners, ad companies, artificial intelligence, hackers and even NSA!
So, it’s up to you what you share online. But when you shared it, it’s all over the internet and you can’t stop it.
We believe if we keep every section public, it will give us a better and more realistic view. It will alert us about the content we want to share every time.
“This is Public! Watch your steps.”
The bottom line is, we keep everything open to public to make ourselves to be more careful. We give everybody the same right to see our activities and not only Google authorities, hackers or NSA agents. This way we can be more cautious and serious about security.
Regards, JoopeA Group
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