Indonesia cops force 'manly makeover' on transgender women
Banda Aceh (Indonesia): Indonesian police forcibly cut the hair of a group of transgender women and made them wear male clothing, authorities said on Monday, amid a crackdown on the LGBT community in the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation.
The incident happened after police on Sunday raided several beauty salons in conservative Aceh province and rounded up a dozen transgender employees over claims they had teased a group of boys. Police accused the employees of violating the province's religious laws.
Dozens of locals tried to attack the group of beauticians as they were hauled off to the police station, but they were pushed back by authorities, they said.
Police then lopped off some members' long hair with scissors as well as forcing the group to wear male clothing and speak in a masculine voice. "We have reports from mothers that their sons were teased by the transgender women," local police chief Ahmad Untung Surianata told AFP Monday. "Their numbers are growing here –I don't want that," he added. Aceh on Sumatra island has been ruled by Islamic law since it was granted special autonomy in 2001 –an attempt by the central government to quell a long-running separatist insurgency.
This month a Christian was publicly flogged for selling alcohol in the conservative region, making him only the third non-Muslim in Indonesia to suffer a public whipping.