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Indonesian trans women forced to dress as men and shave heads

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A disturbing report is coming through many mainstream and LGBT publication sites today concerning Indonesian trans women in Aceh province who were subject to a raid in which they were forced to shave their heads and wear men’s clothing over the weekend. 

CNN reports the Indonesian police forced the 12 trans women to do this as a “coaching” method to help them “become men," North Aceh Police Chief Ahmad Untung Surianata told state media. 

“In addition," Surianata said, "the officers also nurtured them by way of having them run for some time and telling them to chant loudly until their male voices came out."

The chief said the women were then escorted to the police station for “further guidance," and according to The Guardian, they will be incarcerated for three days for “counseling and coaching.”

This crackdown is in response to complaints from locals which allege the women had been using drugs and offering free salon services to young boys. 

Tunggal Pawestri, a local activist, says this is a "crystal clear" violation of human rights. She adds, "I also feel worry for the mental and health condition of the transgender people who were arrested."

 Aceh holds a strict religious law; the only part of Indonesia under Muslim Sharia law.