Parliamentary question to the Commission: Action with regard to mob violence in Surabaya, Indonesia

Written parliamentary question asked to the European Commission by:

The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) planned to hold its 4th Asia regional conference in Surabaya, Indonesia, from the 26th to the 28th March 2010.

150 international, national and local conference participants from 12 different Asian countries were unable to take part in the event, as organised mobs—composed mostly of violent activists from religious organisations—disturbed the organisation of the event at the hotel in which it was held. Participants were subjected to intimidation and, on at least two occasions, violence; the conference had to be cancelled.

Indonesian police forces watched the action unfold but appeared unable and unwilling to stop the violent mob. Not only did they fail to lend help to conference participants, they also failed to protect their freedom of speech and assembly, and appeared to make very scarce efforts to stop fundamentalists from intimidating conference participants and hotel staff.

  1. Recalling the universality and indivisibility of human rights, and therefore the need to strongly react to these worrying developments, will the Commission make official representations to Indonesian authorities, both in Brussels and in Jakarta, reminding them the universality and indivisibility of human rights and safeguarding them for everyone—including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens and international visitors?
  2. In the context of the recently-signed Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Indonesia, and particularly its Human Rights and Democracy component, will the Commission formally bring this event to Indonesian authorities’ attention at their next bilateral meeting?
  3. In its setting up of the European External Action Service, will the Commission ensure that its future diplomatic service readily provides support to local human rights defenders in similar events?

Read more: