The Indonesian activist for the rights of the LGTBI community, Shinta Ratri, who was awarded last year by the Casa Asia 2022 Awards, has died this Wednesday at the age of 60, according to information from activist organizations.
The NGO Gaya Nusantara confirms the death of Ratri, a transsexual Muslim woman who identifies as "waria", which in Indonesian refers to transgender people or between two identities, although it does not give more details about the causes of her death.
"Our condolences (...) that you are reunited with God," says the organization in a post posted on Instagram, next to a photo of Ratri. The activist was one of the most influential voices in favor of LGTBI rights, especially transgender people, in Indonesia and is the founder of the only Koranic school for the Islamic LGTBI community in Yogyakarta, known as Pondok Pesantren Waria Al-Fatah .
Last year, Ratri was awarded the Casa Asia 2022 Awards, which since 2004 have recognized and disseminated the work of individuals and entities, both public and private, that promote knowledge, dialogue and relations between Spain and the Asia-Pacific region. Pacific in the economic, social, educational, and cultural fields, as well as development and human rights in that area.
The news of his death has caused a stir among the LGTBI community and activists, who paid tribute and praised Ratri's work. "Shinta Ratri, human rights activist, pioneering transgender Muslim in Indonesia, and director of an Islamic school for transgender women in Yogyakarta, passed away today. May her soul be blessed and her struggle be continued by others," the activist and academic wrote on Twitter. Anmar Alfikar.
In his career as an activist, Ratri has stood up to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism seen in recent years in Indonesian politics, where almost 90% of the more than 260 million people are Muslims and practice a moderate version of Islam.
In addition to the 2022 Casa Asia Awards, Ratri received the Front Line Defenders Award in 2019 in honor of his dedication and courage as a human rights activist, work that led to attacks and assaults on him, including a violent assault in 2016 that forced the closure of the school for a short period. As of today, about 40 students are enrolled in the Al Fatah school, where they are taught prayers and understanding of the Koran, among other things, and which serves as a safe space for trans women to exercise their right to religious worship.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project