Punks are the latest victims of Aceh’s Shariah bylaws
Demonstrating in solidarity for Aceh’s punks
A group of music lovers organising a charity concert in Indonesia’s northern-most province of Aceh have found themselves the latest victims of the province’s discriminatory and abusive Shariah bylaws. The youths – some of whom had come from as far as Jakarta and West Java – were arrested on the evening of 10 December 2011. Their crime was to organise a punk music charity concert titled ‘Aceh for the Punk’ at the city’s cultural centre to raise money for orphans.
Regular and Shariah police stormed the venue, rounding up anyone sporting mohawks, tattoos, tight jeans or chains. They assaulted several people in the raid. After being held for three nights by local police – during which they were denied access to legal representation and family members – detainees were transferred to the Aceh State Police School for ‘re-education’. ‘First their hair will be cut. Then they will be tossed into a pool. That’ll teach them a lesson!’ said Aceh police chief inspector, Iskandar Hasan, describing the punishment that awaited them. Hasan denied the punishment constituted a breach of human rights. ‘We’ll change their disgusting clothes. We’ll replace them with nice clothes. We’ll give them toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, sandals and prayer gear. It will all be given to them.’
True to his word, upon arrival at the camp, men’s heads were