Indonesian Police Detain Punks at Concert, Shave Off Their Mohawks in Attempts to "Rehabilitate" Them

Indonesian Police Detain Punks at Concert, Shave Off Their Mohawks in Attempts to "Rehabilitate" Them
Police in Banda Ache, Indonesia raided a punk rock concert Saturday (December 10), shaving the mohawks and stripping the punk-style garb from 64 concertgoers they detained.

As reported by the Jakarta Globe [via Punknews], the concert was targeted by officials who perceived the music event as a moral threat to Islamic values. Concertgoers were arrested and taken to Aceh State Police School for "re-education."

A statement from police chief Inspector General Iskandar Hasan outlined their actions, explaining, "There will be a traditional ceremony. 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," adding, "Then we'll teach them a lesson."

The police chief then 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.

Meanwhile, Evi Narti Zain, executive director of the Aceh Human Rights Coalition, has 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."

The Aceh Legal Aid Foundation is trying to have the punks released, but Hasan said the date of their release will "depend on the budget from the regional government."