Indonesia government force Instagram to shuts down pro-LGBT account immediately

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While the world slowly trying to accept the concept of homosexuality and governments introducing laws to introduce a new future to the LGBT community, social media platform Instagram was forced to suspend an account which used to publish comics discussing the issues Indonesian Muslim LGBT community face.

The account, which is no longer available, allegedly showed Muslim gay characters and criticized homophobia and religious fundamentalism in the country.

This decision to remove the account was not taken by Instagram, but they were pressurised by the Indonesia government to suspend the gay-friendly account. As per the reports, the Instagram account allegedly published pornographic cartoons that bothered the Muslim population of the country.

In a statement, the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) alleged that the account, which was run by a user known as @Alpantuni, has violated the Electronic Information and Transactions Law, as it published contents which breached decency.

However, the ministry was alerted to such posts after several users tagged them in their comments. Later, MIC thanked those users for the complaints an assured them that they will take action against the allegedly offensive Instagram to handle.

Later, Communication Minister Rudiantara informed Instagram about the account on Monday, February 11. The minister also threatened to shut down the platform in Indonesia unless the company took steps to fulfil the Ministry's demand.

It should be noted that homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia except for in Sharia law-ruled Aceh province. But as per a non-profit Human Rights Watch, in many cases, Electronic Information and Transactions (EIT) law and the law against pornography are used in Indonesia to criminalize homosexuality and the LGBT community.

In 2018, after the Supreme Court of India decriminalised consensual sex between adults regardless of their gender and partially scrapped Section 377 of the Penal Code, veteran Singapore diplomat and international lawyer Tommy Koh has called on the gay community to challenge the similar law of the south-east Asian country and wrote on Facebook that "I would encourage our gay community to bring a class action to challenge the constitutionality of Section 377A."

Singapore's Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam repeated previous remarks by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during a two-day Parliamentary debate over Section 377A in 2007.

PM Lee said that Singapore was still a conservative society and because of that such issues cannot be forced upon them, as it could affect the society.