November 28, 2020

Hard-line Indonesian police shave punkers’ mohawks 


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In this Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011 photo, plain-clothed police officers shave the heads of punks at a police school compound in Aceh Besar, Aceh province, Indonesia. Police official Iskandar Hasan said Wednesday, Dec. 14 that 65 youths were rounded up during a weekend concert and brought to a detention center where their spiky mohawks - deemed insulting to Islamic traditions - were buzzed off. (AP Photo)

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — Police in Indonesia’s most conservative province raided a punk-rock concert and detained 65 fans, buzzing off their spiky mohawks and stripping away body piercings because of the perceived threat to Islamic values.

Dog-collar necklaces and chains also were taken from the youths before they were thrown in pools of water for “spiritual” cleansing, local police chief Iskandar Hasan said Wednesday.

After replacing their “disgusting” clothes, he handed each a toothbrush and barked “use it.”

The crackdown marked the latest effort by authorities to promote strict moral values in Aceh, the only province in this secular but predominantly Muslim nation of 240 million to have imposed Islamic laws.

Here, adultery is punishable by stoning to death. Homosexuals have been thrown in jail or lashed in public with rattan canes. Women are forced to wear headscarves and told, please, no tight pants.

It’s not clear why police decided to hone in on punks.

Though pierced and tattooed teens have complained for months about harassment, Saturday’s roundup at a concert attended by more than 100 people was by far the biggest and most dramatic bust yet.

Baton-wielding police scattered fans, many of whom had traveled from other parts of the sprawling archipelagic nation to attend the show.

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