And so it continues…
- 65 youths have been sent to a police school in Indonesia’s Aceh province to receive mental and spiritual guidance for ten days
- Only then are they are allowed to return home
By Graham Smith
Last updated at 10:06 PM on 14th December 2011
Dozens of young punk rock fans have had their heads shaved and body piercings confiscated after police in Indonesia said they were a threat to Islamic values.
The 59 male and six female music lovers were also stripped of dog-collar necklaces and chains and then thrown in pools of water for ‘spiritual’ cleansing, police chief Iskandar Hasan said.
After replacing their ‘disgusting’ clothes, he handed each a toothbrush and barked ‘use it’.
The 65 youths were then sent to a police school to receive mental and spiritual guidance for ten days. Only then are they are allowed to return home.
It was the latest effort by authorities to promote strict moral values in Aceh, the only province in the secular but predominantly Muslim nation of 240million people to have imposed Islamic laws.
Adultery is punishable by stoning to death; homosexuals have been thrown in jail or lashed in public with canes; women are told that wearing headscarves is a must, but tight trousers are banned.
Punk rockers have complained for months about harassment, but Saturday’s round-up was by far the most dramatic treatment they have yet been subjected to.
Baton-wielding police broke up the concert, scattering young music lovers.
Dozens were loaded into vans and taken to a police detention centre in the hills, 30miles from the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, for ‘re-education’.
They will be held there for at least ten days, after which they will be returned to their parents.
Fauzan, a 20-year-old punk, was mortified.
‘Why? Why my hair?!’ he said, pointing to his cleanly shaven head. ‘We didn’t hurt anyone.
‘This is how we’ve chosen to express ourselves. Why are they treating us like criminals?’
Chief Hasan insisted he had done nothing wrong.
He said: ‘We’re not torturing anyone. We’re not violating human rights. We’re just trying to put them back on the right moral path.’
Aceh was given semi-autonomy as part of a peace deal with Indonesia’s central government after the province agreed to end a separatist struggle in 2005.