Mukhlis, Lhoksukon, Aceh – Early on Sunday police and wilayatul hisbah (WH, sharia police) detained 12 transgender women (waria) from a number of beauty salons in North Aceh regency in a ‘Community Disease Operation’.
When contacted on Sunday in Lhoksukon, North Aceh district police Chief Assistant Superintendent Ahmad Untung Surianata said that the detained transgender women had been taken from five salons spread across the Lhoksukon and Panton Labu sub-districts.
“They are salon workers and clients, currently we are holding them at the district police headquarters. The transgender women will undergo training until they become real men”, said Surianata.
After arriving at the district police headquarters, said Surianata, they were placed in one group, both those detained from salons in Lhoksukon as well as those from Panton Labu. Their hair was shaved and they were given men’s clothing.
“In addition to this, officers also trained them by ordering them to run for a period then making them to chant as loudly as they could until their male voices came out”, said Surianata.
Surianata said that the operation was to combat the growth in the population of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Aceh who it is believed will have had a negative impact on the nation’s next generation. The operation received the blessing from ulama (Islamic scholars).
Another source at the North Aceh district police said that the transgender women tried to fight back and cried as they were taken to the police headquarters. Police officers also found pornographic videos on their mobile phones and other material evidence.
While the transgender women were taken to the district police headquarters for further training, the five salons where they were arrested in Lhoksukon and Panton Labu have been sealed off by police.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was Belasan waria salon di Aceh Utara terjaring operasi pekat LGBT.]