Indonesian court rejects student journalists’ lawsuit against being sacked over LGBT story

The Medan State Administrative Court (PTUN) has rejected a lawsuit against the rector of North Sumatra University (USU) filed by students working with the Suara USU student website who had been fired from the editorial board for publishing a short story touching on lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender (LBGT) issues.

Presiding Judge Budiman Rodding said the short story titled Semua Menolak Kehadiran Diriku di Dekatnya (Everyone Refuses My Presence Near Her) and published by Suara USU on March 12 had caused controversy for containing pornography and LGBT content.

Budiman said that, based on those considerations, the rector’s decision to fire the Suara USU editorial board was justifiable, as the rector had the authority over education, research and public services.

The students should have respected the regulations and values of USU as referred to in the university’s internal regulations, he said.

He went on to say that the students had not conducted themselves according to USU’s values stipulated in Article 129 of USU Internal Law (UU) No. 15 on USU management.

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