Home SEJUK English Amnesty International Indonesia: Politics of Demonization Brings LGBT more Vulnerable

Amnesty International Indonesia: Politics of Demonization Brings LGBT more Vulnerable

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Director of Amnesty International Indonesia Usman Hamid invites elements of Indonesian’s civil societies and mass media to oversee Mira murder case, a trans woman tortured and burned in Cilincing, North Jakarta (5/4). This control is to encourage police to consider gender and sexual−diverse sensitivity in handling Mira’s case and prevent police personal biases so that law enforcement can carried out fairly.

In the other hands, it is really necessary to cooperatively think about the precise response to tendency “politic of demonization” by politicians who spread hate speech towards marginal community, such as LGBTIQ, especially trans woman who is really vulnerable.  

 “Coronavirus pandemic makes transgender more vulnerable. Because of discrimination, they have been facing difficulties to get healthcare, jobs, housing̲̲− frequently rejected to rent a house, and limited access to get social justice like Mira,” former Commission to Handle an Enforced Disappearances and Victims of Violence (KontraS) Coordinator added to web seminar (Webinar) “Media discussion: The Impact of Covid-19 and Media Coverage on Transgender” held by Journalists Association for Diversity (SEJUK) cooperated with Internews, Monday (13/4).

Hendrika Mayora Victoria from trans woman community, Fajar Sikka, East Nusa Tenggara is immensely worried about what Mira faced could happen to her community’s members in her area, East Indonesia, if media writes negative reports about trans woman or LGBTIQ in general. Luckily, in East Nusa Tenggara, media is eligible enough in reporting trans woman issues.

“Since trans woman’s gender expression is easily recognized, we built safety and security system,” said Mayora seemingly hoped worse things do not afflict her colleagues in East Nusa Tenggara as the community in Maumere is actively participated at Family Welfare Movement and other activities where residents are involved.   

Director of Amnesty International Indonesia, Usman Hamid

Solidarity for Coronavirus-Pandemic-Affected Trans Woman

In addition, the impact of coronavirus pandemic hugely affected the economic and trans woman community to access healthcare, such as in Maumere. Based on Fajar Sika accompaniments, there are many elderly trans women confused how to handle the situation during pandemic because even returning to their villages would be rejected because of stigma.

 “Nowadays, many trans women lose their jobs. They work no longer at a salon or be a cook on a wedding ceremony, and so on,” said a trans woman elected as a chair of Local Consultative Agency (BPD) in Desa Habi, Kangae, Sikka.

Although trans woman community tend to be accepted in Maumere compare to Jakarta and other regions in Indonesia, but during coronavirus pandemic, they are truly undefended.

 “I heard Department of Social Services has aid packages for coronavirus-pandemic-affected residents, because of stigma and a number of trans women have no ID Card (e-KTP), they find difficulties to have the aid packages” Mayora speaking to 108 audiences− 5 trans women, 2 trans men, 68 women, and 33 men.  

There are 10 journalists involved in Webinar, they are 5 editors− Usman Kansong (Media Indonesia), Ahmad Junaidi (The Jakarta Post), Sonya Helen (Kompas), Istiqomatul Hayati (Tempo.co), Margith Damanik (IDN Times), and the rest are reporter.

Through Webinar, Mayora invited her colleagues to unite during coronavirus pandemic to conduct fundraising to help coronavirus-pandemic-affected transgender people.

In the capital, the chairperson of Sanggar Waria Remaja (SWARA) Kanzha Vina also fundraising with LGBTIQ community, network, and residents to help coronavirus-pandemic-affected trans woman. The donation had already distributed to Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi (Jabodetabek).

Although The Government of Special Region of Jakarta and Ministry of Social Affairs of Indonesia have aid budget to reduce coronavirus pandemic impact to residents, but Vina and her friends are not be able to wait without actions. While, by obeying physical distancing policy, could people not go to work anymore. In spite some of trans women can deal with this pandemic, but a number of them are gottenrid of from their rented house because they could not pay the rent since they have no job.

The Role of Media to Voice Trans Woman’s Fate

The vulnerabilities of trans women told by Mayora and Vina as moderator of Webinar Saidin Ahmad encouraged his fellow journalists through writing factual coverage and taking part to remind the governance to address aid packages during coronavirus pandemic directly to the most susceptible subject: trans women.    

Responded to Webinar, News Director of Media Indonesia Usman Kansong hopes his fellows open their eyes and start to reporting marginal communities being prone to be coronavirus-pandemic-affected people. But, he is aware to have a freedom to speak louder about LGBTIQ community still need lengthy journey to be passed.  

 “The ideology of my fellow media has not nationally equal yet. The journalists participating SEJUK’s agendas could have better perspective but could not that good in reduction,” he stated.   

For instance, on editor in chief Whatsapp group, there are a number of people who badly dislike whenever the members start to discuss about LGBTIQ. Indeed, the author of Jurnalisme Keberagaman concludes that most of media in Indonesia have not stood with LGBTIQ. He took Mira case coverage as an example in which more statements are quoted from police than the explanations from trans woman community which is the first informant who posted about the violence that led their friend to death on social media.

“Linked to LGBTQ, first, most media prefer silence: two writes negative reports: and three a reporter writing a well report is a minority (in media circle).” Usman Kansong while hoping that more media would provide a friendly understanding of LGBTIQ in the media. []

By: Thowik & Yuni Pulungan

Serikat Jurnalis untuk Keberagaman (SEJUK) adalah ruang bersama yang dibentuk kalangan jurnalis, aktivis dan penulis yang mendorong terciptanya masyarakat, dengan dukungan media massa, yang menghormati, melindungi dan mempertahankan keberagaman sebagai bagian dari pembelaan hak asasi manusia. Mei 2008 sekitar 30 jurnalis dari berbagai media dengan para aktivis HAM dan antar-iman, serta penulis isu kebebasan beragama, bertemu dan mendiskusikan tentang kekhawatiran meningkatnya konservatisme di kalangan jurnalis dan kecenderungan media massa yang menyudutkan kelompok minoritas bahkan korban diskriminasi dan kekerasan atas nama agama. Keyakinan pada peran strategis pers sebagai salah satu pilar demokrasi dan pengaruhnya yang luas terhadap publik meneguhkan kembali semangat kebersamaan di kalangan jurnalis dan masyarakat lainnya dalam pertemuan itu untuk mengkampanyekan pentingnya pemberitaan media dalam menghidupkan toleransi dan perdamaian, bukan sebaliknya. 1 Juni 2008, ketika massa yang terdiri dari FPI dan laskarnya menyerang Aliansi Kebangsaan untuk Kebebasan Beragama dan Berkeyakinan (AKKBB) yang menggelar apel peringatan Hari Kelahiran Pancasila di Monas, merupakan titik tolak bagi kalangan jurnalis mengembangkan jaringan kerja untuk kampanye jurnalisme keberagaman. Sebab, berbagai pemberitaan terkait “tragedi Monas” saat itu cenderung memojokkan AKKBB. Memberitakan dengan sentimen keyakinan jurnalis menjadi penyebab dasarnya, selain minimnya perspektif pluralisme dan HAM serta ketidaksetiaan jurnalis dan media pada Kode Etik Jurnalistik dan Pedoman Perilaku Penyiaran dan Standar Program Siaran (P3SPS). Pembentukan SEJUK pun menjadi kebutuhan menghidupkan jurnalisme damai pada lingkup isu keberagaman (kebebasan beragama/berkeyakinan, etnis, keadilan gender dan orientasi seksual). Training jurnalis, in-house workshop, workshop untuk jurnalis kampus, media visit menghadirkan kelompok korban dan minoritas, diskusi media untuk memframing setiap isu keberagaman yang aktual atau mem-feeding-nya kepada jaringan jurnalis dan media, Diversity Award, Fellowship Liputan Keberagaman, monitoring media, dan penerbitan buku jurnalisme keberagaman merupakan kegiatan rutin SEJUK. Maraknya fake news dan fake information menjadi tantangan jurnalisme keberagaman untuk lebih menjangkau dan memanfaatkan media sosial agar menjadi ruang bersama yang mempromosikan dan menghargai kebinekaan. Strategic Planning SEJUK (Januari 2017) memfokuskan kerja-kerja jurnalisme keberagaman pada bagaimana media (mainstream dan media sosial) maupun korban atau penyintas dan kelompok minoritas secara efektif merespon hoax. Ini merupakan mandat forum diskusi terbatas bersama jaringan jurnalis senior dan beberapa pimpinan redaksi media nasional di Jakarta yang mengamanatkan SEJUK memanfaatkan media sosial. SEJUK kini mempunyai dua jaringan kerja yang aktif mempromosikan jurnalisme keberagaman di berbagai wilayah Indonesia. Pertama, jurnalis SEJUK yang menjangkau di banyak wilayah, salah satunya mendirikan SEJUK Kalbar. Kedua, pers mahasiswa yang di kampus menghadapi menguatnya gerakan radikalisme agama. Kedua jaringan kerja SEJUK bersama dengan kelompok korban, minoritas, akademisi, pejuang HAM kebebasan beragama dan berkeyakinan aktif memajukan jurnalisme yang menyuarakan hak-hak korban dan minoritas.

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