A group trans women arrested in Indonesia fought and cried as police arrested them in the north western province of Aceh.
They were then paraded to a public area where they had their heads shaved and were forced wear men’s clothes. This happened inn front of a large group of people who filmed the incident on their smartphones.
Aceh is the only province in Indonesia that is allowed to practice Islamic Sharia Law.
The 12 trans women were arrested at six local salons in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Local police and civilian vigilantes arrested the women as part of a ‘Operation of Community Disease’.
Police Chief Ahmad Untung Surianata said the women will be held at the police station to undergo training ‘until they really become men’.
‘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,’ Untang said according to state news agency Antara.
North Aceh Police Head of Operations Kompol Edwin Aldro said the trans women would be returned to their families once they completed their ‘training’.
‘There are about six salons that we raided in Lhoksukon and Pantonlabuukon and Pantonlabu,’ Aldro told Serambinews.com.
‘Then the officers detained 12 trans women at the police stationg in Utara for us to do coaching. They will stay detained and after they finish the coaching they will be returned to their families.
‘Their hair was trimmed an officer, because it’s long. While this happened they said their gender identity female, so we tidied (their hair).’
Prevent increase of LGBTI
Police Chief Untang said the raids had the blessings of influential local Islamic scholars.
‘In principle, the scholars support this effort,’ he told Kompas.com.
‘The expression of men dressed like women needs serious attention.’
Untang said the raids were carried out to prevent the increase of LGBTI people in Aceh, which he considered to be dangerous to the future generations.
It is understood police found pornography on the trans women’s phones and plan to charge them under Indonesia’s anti-pornography laws.
The salons where the women were arrested received police warnings.
A number of the trans women’s parents told police their children had been ‘seduced’ by the salons.
‘These mothers came to crying to me,’ Untang said.
‘They said their sons (sic) were given free treatment at the salon, and were seduced by the transgender.
‘This is not good and we must be disciplined. I hope we can curb the disease of this society.’
Aceh’s Sharia Law
In December last year 12 trans women were followed and detained by ‘militant Islamist vigilantes’ as described by Human Rights Watch (HRW). Police detained the women detained for 24 hours and released them the next day.
While transgenderism and homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia there has been a recent crackdown on the LGBTI community. LGBTI people have been the targets of police raids and surveillance and vigilante action.