Indonesia bans gay rights website

WiG

The website for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission was banned this week in Indonesia.

“This is not the first time that attempts to organize and educate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies have been met with state censorship,” said IGLHRC executive director Cary Alan Johnson. All too often, governments use the charge of pornography as a smokescreen to attack freedom of expression.

But, Johnson said, “oppressive governments can’t stop the tide of LGBT voices – whether they are on the Internet, in the media or on the streets. IGLHRC stands with human rights defenders in Indonesia in their struggle to keep the web free for dialog on basic human rights issues.”

IGLHRC received notice from an LGBT civil rights advocate in Indonesia on Feb. 1 that the website was banned by two mobile phone services in Indonesia.

The advocate reported to IGLHRC that an order to block the website was issued by the Minister of Communication and Information.

Indonesian LGBT activists who then tried to access the website reported that they had received the following message: “Site inaccessible. The site you wish to open cannot be accessed. (Situs tidak bisa diakses. Situs yang hendak Anda buka tidak dapat diakses.)”

IGLHRC reported that Web censorship in Indonesia is frequent but is neither well organized nor uniform and depends on the operator and their respective location.

The organization was able to confirm that http://www.IGLHRC.org was censored in Jakarta, Bandung, Palembang, South Sumatra, Surabaya, Salatiga, Central Java and other areas.

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