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6 Feb 2018

Indonesia to Investigate Police Officers over Transgender 'Shaming'

An Indonesian gay rights activist previously described the authorities' actions as "barbaric."

Indonesian police will investigate officers in conservative Aceh province accused of publicly shaming transgender people, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The move sparked an angry anti-LGBT protest on Friday, as homophobia continues to rise in Indonesia with parliament set to pass a long-dormant bill to make sex outside marriage, including gay relations, illegal.

North Aceh police chief Ahmad Untung Surianata and several of his team were questioned by police internal affairs after raids on beauticians in which 12 transgender staff were detained, had their hair forcibly cut, and were forced to wear male clothing, according to AFP.

"The investigation is still ongoing," Aceh police spokesman Misbahul Munauwar said according to AFP. "If proven guilty of violating police conduct [rules], they may face disciplinary sanctions."

The women were initially accused of "violating religious laws" and bullying youth.

Police reportedly intervened after locals tried to attack the women, but later detained them and forced them to alter their appearance. They also said they would subject the women to "morals teaching" during their detention.

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