Indonesian Police Raid Punk Gig, Shave Mohawks
It’s times like these that our liquor licensing officials don’t see so bad. According to the Washington Post, police in Aceh, Indonesia, a province known for conservative Islamic values have raided a punk-rock concert and detained 65 of the concert goers.
They lineup up the detainees and buzzed off their mohawks, stripped of necklaces and chains, and forced to remove all body piercings in a move they’ve justified as protecting Islamic values. The youths were then thrown into pools of water for ‘spiritual’ cleansing, before being herded into vans and taken to a detention center for religious rehabilitation.
Caught off-guard the distressed youth started screaming and shouting with one yelling “Why? Why my hair?! We didn’t hurt anyone. This is how we’ve chosen to express ourselves. Why are they treating us like criminals?”
However the police chief sees it differently. “We’re not torturing anyone,” he told the media. “We’re not violating human rights. We’re just trying to put them back on the right moral path.”
The police chief also confirmed that 59 men and five women were brought to a police detention center where they would spend 10 days getting rehabilitation, training in military-style discipline and religious classes, including Quran recitation.
Aceh enjoys semiautonomy from the central government since the 2004 tsunami convinced both separatist rebels and the army to lay down their arms. Since then the local government has been introducing strict Islamic law such as making adultery punishable by stoning to death, throwing Homosexuals in jail or lashing them in public with rattan canes.
Women are also forced to wear headscarves, kissing is banned in public, and alcohol is strictly off limits.
Nur Kholis, a national human rights commissioner, said the government will launch an investigation to determine whether the punks broke any laws. “Otherwise,” he said, police “violated people’s right of gathering and expression.”