France urged to push Indonesia on LGBT rights

The French President has been urged to push Indonesia on LGBT+ rights, as he is set to arrive there this week.

Francois Hollande has been urged by the Human Rights Watch to emphasise that respecting human rights is part of having a strong relationship with France.

“France should ensure that its pursuit of deeper economic ties with Indonesia does not come at the price of silence on human rights,” said Bénédicte Jeannerod, France director at Human Rights Watch.

“Hollande should affirm that promoting and protecting people’s rights is critically important for any country strengthening its engagement with France.”

The HRW says Indonesian President Joko Widodo has failed to deliver on support for human rights.

Widodo in October broke his silence on the country’s rising political culture of homophobia, finally insisting that LGBT people must be protected.

President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo made his first comments on Indonesia’s escalating anti-LGBT violence, calling on the police to protect endangered citizens.

He clarified that “in terms of our beliefs, [the LGBT lifestyle] isn’t allowed, Islam does not allow it.”

Violence against the country’s LGBT population has been rising over the last few years, while the police have cracked down as well.

Back in 2016, a gay couple were arrested for a Facebook photo of them kissing.

The anti-LGBT culture has been led in part by a number of the country’s politicians, who have even blocked Grindr and 80 other gay websites and apps in a crackdown on “deviant propaganda.”