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Punk Rockers Detained in Indonesia for “re-education”

Concert goers to a Punk Rock concert in Indonesia were caught off guard when authorities raided, detaining the punk rockers, forcibly shaved their Mohawks and held them for “re-education”.

Punk Rockers Detained at Concert in IndonesiaWhen the authorities approached, concert goers had no idea what was in store for them. Immediately those who were on the scene were forced to brush their teeth and take a group bath for “spiritual cleansing” all after having their Mohawks forcibly shaved.

“We didn’t hurt anyone,” he told the AP after his Mohawk haircut was shaved off. “This is how we’ve chosen to express ourselves. Why are they treating us like criminals?”

According to Illiza Sa’aduddin Djamal indicated that the raid was in order to prevent a “new social disease”, which the punk rock community represents.Stating that if punks are allowed in the city, “the government has to spend more money to handle them.” Gustav Leo, a aceh police spokesman, told the BBC that the youths were not charged, and that officers were only responding to complaints from local residents. “They will undergo a re-education so their morals will match those of other Acehnese people,” he said.

A couple days into this “re-education” process, it is clear things aren’t going as planned…

A total of sixty-five youth were detained after the concert last week, however those detained are making it clear they shouldn’t need to change their lifestyle ways. Shouts of “Punk will never die!”, the flashing of peace signs, and a few brief escapes have plagued “rehabilitation” attempts.

“They said they missed their parents, but it’s pretty clear they were lying,” said local police chief Col. Armensyah Thay. “They didn’t go home. How could they? They’ve been living on the streets.”

What’s really alarming is officials can’t seem to agree on why the raid was conducted.

While it was indicated by the regional chief that the youth were held due to alcohol and drugs, the Deputy Mayor and others indicate it was due to the clash with Islam law. “In Islam, women should wear headscarves and men must not have tattoos, because they won’t be able to perform mandatory prayers with their tattoos,” said Banda Aceh Deputy Mayor Illiza Sa’aduddin Djamal. For this reason, Banda Aceh city police and sharia police have frequently raided punk hangouts.

“Banda Aceh must be free and rid of punk members and the like. We don’t allow such groups to defile our environment and degrade the sharia we’re upholding,” maintained Illiza.

However the way the Aceh government has attempted to “re-educate” the youth punk rockers has drawn criticism not only from the locals but also from across the world.

“In my opinion, it’s very strange if they’re treated like Mafiosi, big embezzlers or drug traffickers. Never forget that any mistake in responding to their behavior can ruin their future,” warned Saifuddin. Improper detention translates into a violation of citizens’ rights and is a breach of law, he said, furthermore for those who are underage, the government and society should abide by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, particularly in treating children involved in legal problems.

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