ADDED ON: 01/26/2019

After LGBT paranoia threatened to shut it down, gov’t defends HIV prevention group in Riau

01/24/2019 | Coconuts Jakarta

Activists warn that the LGBT panic in Indonesia is not only causing wide scale discrimination and persecution against the protected minority group, it is also helping to create a public health crisis by making it more difficult for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services to reach vulnerable populations. The office of a non-governmental organization that focuses on HIV/AIDS prevention in the city of Pekanbaru in Riau almost became the victim of an anti-LGBT crusade — led by hardline Islamic groups and a local politician — but, in a surprising and heartening development, government officials have decided to stand up for the NGO and its work, concluding that it had done nothing wrong and that it was a protected and legally sanctioned organization. The secretariat office of the Indonesian Social Change Organization (OPSI) in Pekanbaru was raided on January 15 by members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) as well as local residents and police, allegedly based on suspicions that LGBT “activities” were taking place inside.

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