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Perempuan Mahardika condemns banning of ILGA congress in Surabaya

Detik.com - March 25, 2010

Support for the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) congress that was planned to be held in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya continues to flow in, although there are many that oppose it.

One of the organisations that supports the congress, the Perempuan Mahardika (Free Women) National Network (JNPM) believes that Surabaya municipal district police is acting undemocratically.

"The rejection, banning and criticisms against holding the ILGA congress in Surabaya is a violation of basic human rights and an undemocratic act," said JNPM spokesperson Sharina in a press release received by Detik.com Surabaya on Wednesday March 24.

Sharina also condemned the actions of the Surabaya municipal police for refusing to issue a permit for the event and called on the government and officials to take firm action against anyone who attempts to restrict such meetings.

"We condemn the actions of the district municipal police who have refused to provide a permit to organise the ILGA meeting. It should by the police's duty to safeguard, protect and guarantee [the right] to hold ILGA meeting until it closes and the government must act firmly against anyone, any group, which [tries] to stop the meeting, not the reverse," she explained.

Sharina also said that the group hopes that all parties will acknowledge the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) people. "We are also calling for the recognition of the rights of marginal groups such as the right to obtain an education, healthcare, gainful employment, to organise and to live without fear," she concluded.

The congress, which ILGA had planned to hold on March 26-28 in Surabaya, was to be attended by participants from various different countries across Asia.

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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