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Indonesian police cut transgender women's hair to force 'manly makeover'
February 19 2018, 08:02 | Irvin Gilbert
Indonesian police in Aceh province cut hair of transgender women
This handout photo taken on January 29, 2018 and released on January 30, 2018 by the North Aceh Police shows the police chief of North Aceh (C) posing with transgender women wearing male clothing following a raid in North Aceh.
The trans women would be detained for several days, followed by a five-day "training" programme including efforts to make them walk and speak in a more "manly" way, as well as "morals teaching" by local clerics, police said.
The currency wholesaler in the money-changing industry is a parent agency that distributes cash to other outlets.
"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".
Transgender women are known locally as waria, a word that combines the Indonesian words for men and women. "It's going well and now they are all acting like real men", Local police chief Ahmad Untung Surianata told the BBC. "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", the police chief added. The video also contains stills, showing the detained women lying on the ground while their heads are shaved.
The Amnesty International has strongly criticised their hostile action against the LGBT community. The chief said the women were then taken to a police station for "further guidance" and that the action was meant to keep transgender people from "adversely affecting" younger Indonesians, CNN reports.
"In Aceh, it is not only transgender people who face harassment, intimidation and attacks - all LGBTI people are at serious risk of such treatment".
Aceh is the most conservative province in Indonesia, with a predominantly Muslim population.
The so-called operation was condemned by the Indonesian National Commission of Human Rights and human rights group Amnesty International. Such attacks must be stopped immediately and authorities must treat all people in Aceh equally before the law.
Police have often used the country's tough anti-pornography legislation to criminalise members of the LGBT community, and there has been a recent string of arrests. On 25 May 2017, 141 men were arrested in North Jakarta by local police after attending what police described as a "gay sex party".
With the exception of Aceh, consensual same-sex relations are not treated as crimes under the Indonesian Criminal Code.