News Archives

Police Lambasted for Targeting LGBT Community in Raid in Jakarta

The Jakarta Post - Jakarta, Indonesia, 9/5/2020

Civil groups have criticised the Jakarta Police over the criminalisation of the LGBTQIA+ community following a recent raid on a private party in Kuningan, South Jakarta. On August 29, 2020, police officers broke into an apartment and arrested 9 people, charging them under Article 296 of the Criminal Code and Article 33 of the 2008 Pornography Law, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment. The Civil Society Coalition for the Protection of the Rights of Vulnerable Groups has criticised the police, saying that partying in a private space could not be considered a violation of the law. Although being LGBTQIA+ is not illegal in Indonesia, members of the community have persistently faced discrimination from authorities and society.

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Put Women at Centre of COVID Response: Supreme Court

The Himalayan Times - Kathmandu, Nepal, 9/4/2020

The Supreme Court has observed that women’s interests have not been protected in the distribution of relief materials and quarantine management and the government has not ensured representation of women in the High-level COVID-19 Crisis Management and Coordination Committee. The SC has ordered the government to ensure women’s inclusive representation in any discussion, mechanism or committee related to COVID management and control. The court asked the government to set up a telephone helpline or Facebook page in all 753 local levels to provide services to victims of gender and domestic violence. The court also ordered the government to set up quality quarantine and isolation centres for women, new mothers, pregnant women, children, senior citizens, people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations.

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Pakistan Blocks Tinder, Other Dating Apps Over ‘Immoral’ Content

Al Jazeera, Pakistan, 9/3/2020

Pakistan has blocked Tinder, Grindr and three other dating apps for not adhering to local laws, its latest move to curb online platforms deemed to be disseminating ‘immoral content’. On September 1, 2020, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) said it has sent notices to the management of Tinder, Grindr, Tagged, Skout and SayHi seeking their removal. Data from analytics firm Sensor Tower showed Tinder, a globally popular dating app, had been downloaded more than 440,000 times in Pakistan within the last 12 months. Grindr, which describes itself as an online dating app for LGBTQIA+ people, had been downloaded about 300, 000 times in that same period. Critics have said the PTA, through this move, has sought to rein in free expression on the internet.

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Chinese University Slammed for Telling Female Students to Spurn ‘Overly Revealing’ Dress

Reuters - Beijing, China, 9/2/2020

A Chinese University has sparked widespread outrage for telling female students to not to wear anything deemed ‘overly revealing’ on grounds it could arouse ‘temptation’. Guangxi University on August 1, 2020 published a safety guide for incoming first year women students, including a dress code that suggested that women were responsible for sexual harassment and assault, a move has caused an uproar on Chinese social media platforms. China’s nascent #MeToo movement scored a small victory this year after the country’s parliament enacted legislation that for the first time defined what constitutes sexual harassment. Yet traditional attitudes remain hostile to girls and women with women who are being harassed often being seen as “asking for it”.

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‘No Options’ for El Salvador’s Pregnant Girls Raped in Lockdown

Reuters - Bogota, Colombia, 9/1/2020

More than 100 girls in El Salvador got pregnant after being raped at home during the coronavirus lockdown and had no safe options to end unwanted pregnancies, said campaigners on August 31, 2020. It is illegal to seek an abortion in El Salvador, even in cases of rape, or when a woman’s life is in danger, say reproductive rights advocates. Health ministry figures reveal that 114 girls aged 10 to 14 got pregnant after being raped during El Salvador's rigid lockdown. Vilma Vaquerano, an expert on gender violence at The Salvadoran Women for Peace, said the majority of rapes were carried out by relatives and girls were forced to be confined with abusive family members due to school closures during the pandemic. 

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