Police arrests and attempts to 're-educate' transgender people must end

The parliamentary committee has been holding consultations with the public, taking the opinion of religious scholars, legal experts and rights groups over how to change the criminal code where it relates to extramarital sex.

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

"There were mothers who came crying to me, anxious about their children", said district police chief Ahmad Untung.

The workers, who were forced to wear men's clothing, were detained over claims they had teased a group of boys, The Guardian reports.

"The North Aceh police should immediately and unconditionally release the 12 trans women".

"Their numbers are growing here - I don't want that", he added.

"Cutting the hair of those arrested to "make them masculine" and forcing them to dress like men are forms of public shaming and amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, in contravention of Indonesia's worldwide obligations", Amnesty global Indonesia's Executive Director Usman Hamid said in a statement published on the group's website. "Police are there to protect everyone, not to humiliate them and violate their rights". "Such incidents must be promptly and effectively investigated", said Usman Hamid.

The Indonesian National Commission of Human Rights has condemned the raids, saying the police acted outside the law and their actions were inhuman.

Aceh is the most conservative province in Indonesia, with a predominantly Muslim population.

This month a Christian was publicly flogged for selling alcohol in the conservative region, making him the third non-Muslim in Indonesia to suffer a public whipping.

An online disturbing and unverified footage of the police raid shows detained women lying on the ground while their heads are shaved.

While same-sex relationships are not considered a crime across Indonesia, the Aceh province criminalized them back in 2014.

"It's very unusual that officers [in Sunday's incident] would arrest innocent people and cut off their hair", added Indonesian LGBT rights activist Hartoyo, who goes by one name, in an interview with The Guardian.

Even in the capital Jakarta - once a relatively safe space - police have carried out a series of raids on bars popular with the LGBT community, and jailed gay men caught in them under the country's controversial pornography laws.


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