Remembering Shinta Ratri: Front Line Defenders expresses solidarity on passing of HRD Shinta Ratri
Front Line Defenders has learned with great sadness about the death of HRD Shinta Ratri, recipient of the FLD Award for HRDs at Risk in 2019. Shinta passed away in hospital the early hours of Wednesday, 1st February at 60 years of age.
Shinta was a Muslim transwoman (waria) who was fondly known for her progressive work with the transgender community in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. She co-founded the Pondok Pesantren Waria, an Islamic boarding house for trans individuals based in Yogyakarta - the world’s only Islamic boarding house for transgender people, which accommodates the needs of trans individuals and creates a safe space for them to practice their religion and be who they are.
On the school, Shinta said, “Here we can believe we are not sinners for being trans. I want as many people as possible to get to know about us. I hope the day will come when anyone can pray together at the same place without feeling uncomfortable.” She fought fiercely for trans people to have a safe space in Indonesia to be themselves.
She faced harassment, targeting and assault as a result of her human rights work and advocacy for the rights of LGBTIQ+ people in a predominantly religious fundamentalist context, of which one attack even led to the temporary closing of the school.
Front Line Defenders and its staff send condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Shinta, who was deeply respected, admired and loved in the HRD community and LGBTIQ+ community globally and beyond. Shinta’s bravery and perseverance will be remembered for many years to come.
Watch a video about Shinta’s work here: