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Human Rights: The Inhumane Regime of Iran

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Introduction
The Iranian regime is a theocratic state based on the principle of velayat-e faqih (absolute clerical rule). The authoritarian rulers of Iran violently clamp down on popular demands, including calls for greater personal freedoms and equality.
Freedom of assembly is effectively non-existent in Iran. That is why various social sectors are severely restricted and suppressed when they assembled to voice collective and basic demands. In this context, the Iranian people have increasingly called for the overthrow of the theocracy, believing it does not align with their democratic aspirations and inclination to join the international community as peaceful and responsible actors. In December 2017, people in more than 130 cities in all of Iran's provinces rose up against the regime in large numbers and demanded democratic change and separation of religion and state. The protestors were violently suppressed, with hundreds killed and thousands more jailed and tortured.
The cleri…

Member of Indonesia's parliament tweets that gays should be put to death

Tifatul Sembiring
Tifatul Sembiring
Tifatul Sembiring later takes down tweet amid criticism

In the latest incident of anti-gay rhetoric in Indonesia, a member of Parliament from the Islamist Prosperous Justice Party posted on Twitter that gays should be put to death.

Tifatul Sembiring, who is the country’s former Information and Communications Minister, tweeted: ‘A saying of the Prophet [Mohamed]: Whomever you find committing the acts of the community of Lot (homosexual) should be put to death.’

After he received criticism from others online, Sembiring deleted the tweet from his account, according to BuzzFeed News.

Anti-gay rhetoric has been on the rise in the Southeast Asian country. 

Earlier this week, Indonesia’s leading psychiatric body classified homosexuality and gender dysphoria mental disorders that can be cured with proper treatment.

The World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of psychiatric disorders in 1970.

Gay sex is not a crime in Indonesia but remains taboo in many parts the Muslim-majority.

Also this week, Indonesia’s minister of defense said the LGBTI movement was more dangerous than nuclear warfare.

And in January, the minister of research, technology and higher education called for LGBTI students to be banned from universities.

Source: Gay Star News, Greg Hernandez, Feb. 27, 2016


Indonesian psychiatrists label LGBT as mental disorders

The leading Indonesian psychiatric body has classified homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism as mental disorders, which it says can be cured through proper treatment.

Indonesian Psychiatrists Association (PDSKJI) member Suzy Yusna Dewi said that most of the time, the aforementioned sexual tendencies were triggered by external factors, such as the influence of a person's social environment, and therefore they could be healed through psychiatric treatment.

"We really do care about them. What we are worried about is, if left untreated, such sexual tendencies could become a commonly accepted condition in society," Suzy told thejakartapost.com on Tuesday.

She made comments about the association’s recent statement to address rising concerns about the growing prominence of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, which has drawn sharp criticism from government and religious leaders.

Referring to Law No.18/2014 on Mental Health and the association’s Mental Health and Mental Disorder Diagnostic Guidelines, the PDSKJI categorizes homosexuals and bisexuals as “people with psychiatric problems”, while transgender people have “mental disorders”.

According to this classification, a psychiatric problem is condition in which a person is at risk of developing a mental disorder.

A person with mental disorder will develop physical symptoms and behavior that may affect their welfare and social functioning.

The PDSKJI said that psychiatric problems of homosexuals and bisexuals and mental disorders of transgender people had nothing to do with schizophrenia or other conditions such as intersex , or an anomaly in a person's genetic or chromosomal makeup.

Commenting on the issue of homosexuality and bisexuality, Suzy said there was not enough data to support the idea that the conditions were caused by biological factors, adding that limiting inappropriate social interaction could be effective in curbing such abnormal sexual tendencies.

The psychiatrist further said proper interventions were crucial in curing psychiatric problems and mental disorders. She said that a person's sexual appetite was a mental issue similar in nature to drug addiction.

“Without constant intervention, a person can easily return to their previous sexual tendency once he or she experiences withdrawal,” Suzy said.

She stressed the importance of upholding national values and norms. “We must respect Indonesian traditions, which culturally do not accept same-sex marriage, and we should not bow to the influence of foreign values that may not fit in with our values,” said Suzy.

On May 17, 1990, the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from its list of psychiatric disorders.

In support of WHO’s stance, Chatarina Wahyurini of the Indonesia Planned Parenthood Association (PKBI) said her organization recognized the existence of people with different orientations and did not view them as having disorders.

Referring to its stance on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, Wahyurini said the PKBI called for an end to discrimination of minority groups. She urged the government to take a more serious approach to providing protection and security to every citizen regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Repeating what was stated in a press statement released by the PKBI on Monday, Wahyurini referred to Indonesia’s national ideology, Pancasila, which she said guaranteed and protected diversity. The 1945 Constitution also protects the right of every Indonesian citizen to be protected from any form of discrimination.

Wahyurini said the LGBT community should have equal access to public services and space needed to freely express their identity, participate in dialogue and to contribute to the nation in a positive manner.

Source: thejakartapost.com, Liza Yosephine, February 24 2016


Indonesian clerics declare LGBT groups haram

The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) announced on Wednesday that it considered individuals identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) to be haram, in the wake of recent controversy surrounding LGBT communities across the country.

The MUI, along with several other Islamic organizations, declared that the existence of LGBT communities was against the Constitution and against religious norms.

"The opinion is based on LGBT activities prohibited by Islam," MUI chairman Ma'ruf Amin said at a press conference at the MUI office in Jakarta on Wednesday, as quoted by kompas.com.

LGBT activities were against the national ideology of Pancasila, the Constitution and the 1974 Marriage Law, he said.

Furthermore, the MUI issued a fatwa in 2014 stating that homosexuality, sodomy and sexual assault were haram

"LGBT activities could also cause dangerous and infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS," he said.

LGBT issues came into the spotlight after Research and Technology and Higher Education Minister Muhammad Nasir made a controversial statement banning LGBT groups from university campuses. His statement was made in response to a student organization at the University of Indonesia named the Support Group and Resource Center on Sexuality Studies (SGRC) that offered counselling for LGBT students.

Source: thejakartapost.com, Feb. 17, 2016

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