MEULABOH, Aceh — West Aceh Sharia police arrested 9 transgender individuals at a contraceptive store and beauty salon for allegedly violating Islamic Sharia law.
“They, these transgenders, were caught for violating Islamic Sharia law, but they are not violating Qanun Aceh (local bylaw),” head of West Aceh Sharia police Ika Suhannas said in Meulaboh, Monday, September 21.
“After we caught them and checked their identity, we allowed them to return to their hometowns.”
Police arrested the individuals after receiving reports from residents who felt they had tainted Islamic Sharia enforcement.
“Their activities caused public unrest because they hung out until midnight wearing female outfits even when they’re male. These activities caused public unrest and residents told us to take action.”
Suhannas said he already asked them to dress like men and work according to their skill – not in beauty salons.
“When we asked them to return back as men, they said they could not do it because it is their soul,” Suhannas said. “But we hope if they are persistent (in doing this), then they should return to their hometown.”
Only two out of the 9 transgender people are residents of West Aceh district. The rest are from other Aceh regions. Upon release, they promised Suhannas they would return to their hometown.
Suhannas also said the residents thought these transgenders were involved in prostitution, but police did not find evidence to back up the allegations. – with reports from Antara/Rappler.com