Indonesian police in Aceh province cut hair of transgender women

Police shave heads of 12 trans women in Indonesia force them to wear men's clothes

Several beauty salons in Aceh province were raided over the weekend and transgender women working there taken to the local police station.

MANILA • Tens of thousands of evacuees displaced by the eruption of Mayon volcano in the Philippines are filling up dozens of temporary shelters that are already reeling from overcrowding and poor sanitation.

The arrests were in a raid on five hair salons owned by transgender women, who are referred to locally as "waria". Indonesia consists of the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation, with Aceh province being ruled by Islamic law since 2001.

"In addition, the officers also nurtured them by way of having them run for some time and telling them to chant loudly until their male voices came out", he said.

The women were slated to be held for three days in custody, where they were being coached to behave like "real men", officials from Aceh's Sharia police told local media.

The detained transgender women had their heads shaved and were given clothing supposedly appropriate for males.

They replied quietly, sounding clearly under pressure, that they were not.

According to Surianata, the police conducted "Operation Anti Moral Illness" after neighbours complained about the transgender community having a "negative influence" on their children, the BBC reported.




Police accused the employees of violating the province's religious laws.

"All citizens deserve protection and to be treated equally", Commissioner Beka Ulung Hapsara told the BBC.

"The police's so-called "re-education" of transgender people is not only humiliating and inhumane, it is also unlawful and a clear breach of their human rights", Amnesty International Indonesia director Usman Hamid told The Guardian.

Religious police and vigilantes in Aceh often raid homes and places of work and detain people on suspicion of engaging in homosexual activity.

But a draft, seen by Reuters on Monday, included measures to criminalise extramarital sex, same-sex relations, and co-habitation, all of which were previously unregulated by law. "This is part of a long-standing pattern of harassing and discriminating against LGBTI people in the region that must stop immediately".

The raids and arrests are just the latest phase of a brutal crackdown on LGBT people in Indonesia in recent years, which has horrified activists.

A group of Muslim protesters march with banners against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Banda Aceh on December 27, 2017.

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