Indonesia bans international gay advocacy website

Several Internet service providers and mobile phone operators in Indonesia have banned the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) website for containing “pornography.” Are any LGBT websites banned in your country?

Anyone trying to access the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) website in Indonesia is likely to encounter 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.)

The ILGHRC said in a statement that earlier this month, it received a message from a LGBT human rights defender in Indonesia who reported that the website has been banned by Telkomsel and IM2, mobile phone operators, in Indonesia. According to a spokesperson for the internet service provider IM2, the order came from the Minister of Communication and Information who … banned [the website] due to it’s content which, they determined contains pornography.”

Other Indonesian activists confirmed that they were unable to access the IGLHRC website. Many reported they were denied access, especially when the providers were mobile phone operators IM2 and Telkomsel. (Mobile phones are widely used in Indonesian for Internet access).

The advocacy group says has been censored in Jakarta (Telkomsel, Indosat, 3), Bandung (Telkomsel, XL), Palembang, South Sumatra, Surabaya (XL), Salatiga, Central Java as well as other areas. Censoring operators include Telkomsel, Indosat (IM-3), Three, XL Axiata, and Telkom Speedy. Only First Media, a small cable operator consistently refused to ban the site.

Cary Alan Johnson, Executive Director, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) said: “This is not the first time that attempts to organise and educate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies have been met with state censorship. All too often, governments use the charge of pornography as a smokescreen to attack freedom of expression. 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.”

by News Editor
Source – Fridae