Last month in the sharia-dominated province of Aceh, 12 transgender Indonesian women (known as ‘waria’) were arrested, stripped, shaved bald and publicly shamed as part of an increasing hostility towards LGBT+ individuals.
Police raided five beauty salons in North Aceh on January 27 and detained the transgender women as part of what police called a “programme to clean Aceh from transgender women”.
Some of victims of police treatment have spoken anonymously to Amnesty International about their mistreatment. After the twelve women were rounded up, the police ordered them to walk to a local park where, in front of onlookers, they were forced to endure mock military training to make them “manlier”.
The police ordered the victims to remove their female clothes, and when one refused, saying: Just shoot me. This is about dignity”, the police chief replied: “You as a transgender do not have the right to have dignity.”
Later the same night, a police officer cut 6 of the women’s hair to make them look “masculine”.
The women were released the next day after being forced to attend a religious sermon by a Muslim cleric who told them “it is OK to kill transgender or other LGBTI people because they are more evil than kafir [infidel]”.
In 2017 alone there were 300 LGBTs were arrested in a series of targeted raids by police across Indonesia. The country’s national parliament last month drafted revisions to the criminal code that would outlaw same-sex relationships, along with all extramarital sex.
© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.