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Mahfud MD's comment on LGBT, revised penal code questioned by many

Tempo - May 24, 2022

M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – Crisis Response Mechanism (CRM) staff Riska Carolina on Monday said she was startled by the statement from the coordinating minister of politics, law, and human rights Mahfud MD who said behaviors related to LGBT could be legally punished under the draft criminal code (RKUHP).

To Tempo, Riska argues that her organization and the national alliance on the KUHP reform guiding the revision of the law since its initiation have never stumbled upon Articles that enable the law to incriminate LGBT legally.

"As far as I am concerned, the RKUHP is pretty moderate and does not discriminate. So I am not aware of the news about criminalizing a vulnerable group," she said on May 23.

She suspects derivative laws on the criminalization of LGBT groups are to cater to demands from certain people, which she says is highly regrettable if the new revised penal code discriminates more against minorities.

So far, said Riska, there have been 45 discriminatory regional regulations and 11 family-related regulations. She believes this has an impact on the emergence of cases of violence against gender and sexual minorities and with the existence of this RKUHP, LGBT groups will feel more and more discriminated against.

"I don't know what Mahfud MD's agenda is, but thanks to him, the potential for violence, discrimination, and hatred against gender minorities will only increase. He is a state apparatus, what he says will have major effects on gender and sexual minorities," she explained.

Meanwhile, a member of the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission III from the National Democratic Faction (NasDem), Taufik Basari, said that the issue of criminalizing the LGBT group had not been discussed in detail in the Council as the draft penal code is still with the government and has not been returned to the DPR.

"As far as I understand there is no provision in the draft RKUHP that criminalizes LGBT. Since the draft is still the domain of the government, we are waiting for what [Mahfud MD] meant when he raised this issue," said Taufik.

The Law and Human Rights Deputy Minister Edward O.S Hiariej ensured that the RKUHP would not regulate crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT). "LGBT doesn't exist in the RKUHP, it doesn't exist," he said.

Edward explained that the RKUHP was a product of a gender-neutral draft law. Thus, the bill will not specifically regulate crimes against certain gender groups.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1594582/mahfud-mds-comment-on-lgbt-revised-penal-code-questioned-by-man