Indonesian gang beats and strips trans women who ‘don’t deserve to live’
Dozens of men have stripped and beaten two transgender women in Bekasi, on the island of Java, Indonesia, telling them: “You don’t deserve to have been born.”
The gang of 50 to 60 men attacked the victims with a 50 centimetre-long metal rod and forced one of the trans women to take her clothes off before insulting her body and cutting her hair, according to The Jakarta Post.
The victims were chased away from a gathering of trans people by a gang in white clothing on motorbikes, activist Titin Wahab said. The men—who were reportedly aged 14 to 25—then parked their bikes and ran after them.
“Don’t you know that it’s a sin to be trans?”
Wahab, a trans advocate in the country, reported that the attackers had asked one of the victims, who wore a short wig and presented as more masculine: “You are a man, right?”
“And your friend is a banci [sissy]? Don’t you know that it’s a sin [to be trans]?” the aggressor said.
The two women cried and asked the dozens of men to spare them, calling out, “Ya Allah,” to which the perpetrators responded: “There is no Allah for you. No need to mention Allah.”
“You don’t deserve to have been born,” one of the attackers said.
After the gang departed the scene, the victims were comforted and clothed by onlookers, but were reluctant to follow their advice and report the attack to the police.
What is life like for Indonesian trans women?
Transgender people in Indonesia are subjected to discrimination, including from the police.
In January, police arrested 12 trans people, shaved their heads and paraded them in front of the public.
Authorities also dressed the trans women in the stereotypically male clothing, in an effort “to turn them into men.”
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The raid on salons in the Indonesian province of Aceh, where Sharia law is in effect, was called “operasi penyakit masyarakat,” which translates as “community sickness operation.”
Transgender people fled from the area after the incident, which saw local police chief Ahmad Untung Surianata say the detainees were part of a “social disease” and would be coached “until they really become men.”
And in March, trans women in the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, were rounded up and forced to go to rehabilitation centres, which was prompted by the Jakarta Social Agency classifying trans women as having social dysfunctional traits.
The trans women were not allowed to leave the rehab centres before signing a statement promising not to repeat the “violation.”