According to the Jakarta Globe, police in Banda Aceh, the provincial capital and largest city in the province of Aceh, Indonesia, raided a punk rock concert Saturday (December 10), shaving the mohawks and stripping the punk-style garb from 64 concertgoers they detained because of the perceived threat to Islamic values. The arrestees were then taken to Aceh State Police School for “re-education.”
Police chief Inspector General Iskandar Hasan described the punishment awaiting them when they reached the police school in the Seulawah hills, 62 kilometers east of he capital. “There will be a traditional ceremony,” he said. “First their hair will be cut. Then they will be tossed into a pool. The women’s hair we’ll cut in the fashion of a female police officer. Then we’ll teach them a lesson.”
The police chief added that detainees’ “disgusting” clothes will be replaced, and that they’ll be given toothbrushes and shampoo and prayer gear. “I’ll remind [police] not to breach human rights. We are oriented to educating our community, our nation. This is our country, too, right?” Hasan said.
Twenty-year-old punker, Fauzan, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying, “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?”
Evi Narti Zain, executive director of the Aceh Human Rights Coalition, lambasted the authorities for their extreme actions.
“What is this education? The police’s action is inconsistent because the punks did nothing wrong,” Zain said. “Punk music is their way of expressing themselves. It is normal and is found all around the world. It’s their right to express their freedom. There’s nothing wrong with punk kids.”