The Indonesian police forcibly cut the hair of transgender women and made them wear “male” clothing, to coach them to behave like “real men”, BBC reported on Monday.
The incident took place after a police raid on beauty salons in the Aceh province on Sunday, AFP reported. At least a dozen trans employees were detained over claims that they had teased a group of boys, the report said. Aceh has a strict Islamic religious law.
“We are holding them for three days to give them counselling and coaching,” local police chief Ahmad Untung Surianata told BBC. “It’s going well and now they are all acting like real men,” he said.
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. The Indonesian National Commission of Human Rights and human rights group Amnesty International condemned the “operation”.
Beka Ulung Hapsara, Indonesian human rights commissioner, told BBC that the police had acted outside the law. “All citizens deserve protection and to be treated equally,” Hapsara said.
Amnesty’s Indonesia director Usman Hamid said the police’s “re-education” of transgender people was “humiliating and inhumane”. “It is also unlawful and a clear breach of their human rights. Such incidents must be promptly and effectively investigated,” he said.