Gemma Holliani Cahya, Jakarta – Amnesty International lambasted the National Police for its discriminative stance toward sexual minorities after a 29-year-old brigadier in Semarang, Central Java, identified only as TT, was dishonorably discharged in December because of his sexual orientation.
The Jakarta Post reported on Thursday that a gay police officer had been dismissed from the force because of his sexual orientation and was now challenging his dismissal at the Semarang State Administrative Court.
Responding to the issue, National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo told the Post that he supported the Central Java Police's decision, saying that from the perspectives of religion and morality it was clear that LGBT was "taboo."
"[Homosexuality] is also not recognized by the state. So from these [facts] it is implied that members of the Indonesian National Police must not be LGBT and must not have a deviant sexual orientation," he said.
In a press release on Friday, Amnesty International Indonesia director Usman Hamid criticized Dedi's statement saying it was "wrong, misleading and discriminative".
Amnesty International said the dismissal of TT violated the human rights principles, especially on equality and non-discrimination in the armed forces.
It also violated National Police Chief Regulation No. 8/2009 on the implementation of the standards and principles of human rights on the police's duties.
Article 4 of the regulation stipulates that human rights do not distinguish race, ethnicity, ideology, culture, religion, belief, philosophy, social status, gender or sexual orientation, but prioritize a commitment to mutual respect to create a civilized world.
The group also said the dismissal violated Article 6 which stipulates that in the scope of the National Police's duties, human rights also include the special rights of minority groups.
"So the decision to discharge [TT] clearly violated their own internal regulation. On a broader scale this is a violation of human rights. Especially in the world of law enforcement agencies whose duty is to serve and protect citizens based on the principles of equality and non-discrimination, "Usman said.
Usman urged police to cancel TT's dismissal and return him to his unit in Semarang.
TT is a homosexual and had kept his sexual orientation a secret for years until he was ambushed by fellow officers while on a date with his partner on Valentine's Day.
Central Java police told the Post that they learned of TT's private life through an internal investigation.