Indonesian gay rights activist one test away from human rights commissioner

Dede Oetomo is one of 30 candidates through to final stage of selection for Komnas HAM, Indonesia’s national human rights commission

Indonesian gay rights activist one test away from human rights commissioner
05 June 2012

Long-serving Indonesian gay rights activist is through to the final leg of selection for the national human rights commission, Komnas HAM.

If Dede Oetomo is one of 15 of the 30 current candidates chosen by parliament to serve on the commission, he will tackle the many human rights abuses against LGBT people in Indonesia.

‘It’s official: I passed on to the last short list of 30 candidates which will be submitted to parliament,’ Oetomo told Gay Star News. ‘It feels very good and reassuring, since I’m kind of a "certified" human rights defender. On the other hand, I feel somewhat nervous about the possibility of serving as a commissioner, given how serious the issues are.’

Oetomo has told Gay Star News before that he thinks police violence against transgender women is the most pressing LGBT rights issue for the commission.

The process for selecting the 15 commissioners, who will serve on Komnas HAM for five years, is rigorous. The commission received 363 applications from Indonesians who felt they have expertise in human rights in February. Of these 120, including transgender activist Yulianus Rettoblaut, got through to the second round of selection but unfortunately she didn’t pass the third round’s personality test and essay.

Oetomo told Gay Star News it was unfortunate that Rettoblaut didn’t get through, but he thought the selection process was fair. He wrote his essay about the importance of LGBT rights. ‘I thought I was taking a risk but they apparently liked it,’ he said.

Komnas HAM was established in 1993 by Indonesia’s then president Soeharto to monitor and investigate human rights violations and educate the government, police and military on human rights.

The current Komnas HAM commissioner Kabul Supriyadhi recently admonished the government for ignoring the commission’s recommendations.

‘Komnas HAM is required to submit recommendations on cases of human rights violations to the executive and legislative institutions for further action. Sadly, things don’t happen as is expected,’ Supriyadhi said, as reported by The Jakarta Post.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Gay candidates tied in lead for Sydney by-election

Poll shows independent Alex Greenwich and Liberal Shayne Mallard both at 31% of the vote, if the election for Sydney MP was called now
No thumbnail available

Where to eat, drink and be clothing optional in Key West

Whether or not going nude is your thing, our guide on where to whet your palate and gay it up in Florida's island city is sure to get you excited
No thumbnail available

Zimbabwe’s new constitution makes gay marriage a 'crime'

Reaffirming their belief homosexuality is unacceptable, Zimbabwe's government's new constituiton will have a new clause banning same-sex marriage
No thumbnail available

How do LGBT students thrive at conservative Christian colleges?

Will conservative Christian universities have to accept there are LGBT students in their classrooms?
No thumbnail available

Confirmed: Uganda Speaker will bring back anti-gay law

Rebecca Kadaga has said the bill will be re-tabled this month and parliament will vote as soon as possible
No thumbnail available

Gay media issues plea on same-sex marriage action ‘before it’s too late’

British-based LGBT media calls on readers to take part in same-sex marriage consultation
No thumbnail available

Mom attacks son with electrical cord after catching him having gay sex

Texas woman is facing jail time for assault after catching her 15-year-old son in bed with her 18-year-old cousin
No thumbnail available

George Michael announces new album, resurfaces on Twitter after a one-year absence

Symphonica, just his sixth solo album, will be released in March
Why won’t the UK fly the rainbow flag for Pride?

Why won’t the UK fly the rainbow flag for Pride?

The US are doing it in London, so why not the UK government?
No thumbnail available

Gay quintuplet who wants to marry like his brothers and sisters

Gay quintuplet Matt Hiscock is Out4Marriage because his two brothers and two sisters can marry and he can’t