We recently reported upon the arrest, and detention of a group of punk rockers in Aceh, Indonesia ”â the punks were publicly humiliated by being forced to shave their hair and to then undergo a programme of”Ëre-education’ Thankfully the group have now been released, however the Police Chief in charge of the operation has gone public to justify his methods as reported in the Jakata Globe…
Sixty-five punk rock enthusiasts detained by the Aceh Police and sent for “re-education”Â were released on Friday after 10 days of spiritual and physical coaching.
Aceh Police chief Insp. Gen. Iskandar Hasan says that despite the worldwide attention ”â almost uniformly negative ”â that followed the detainment without charges, forced head-shavings and re-education, he is certain that local police and the government were acting in the interests of the punks and the community at large.
In an interview with the Jakarta Globe on Thursday night, Iskandar laid out the reasons why police rounded up the punks, saying the so-called charity concert they were attending was a falsification, and that the attendees constituted little more than a filthy public nuisance.
He justified the head-shavings and dunkings in water ”â images that spread like wildfire across the Internet ”â as a misperceived “tradition”Â practiced by police cadets, and added that the detainees were “just happy because it has been a long time since they have had a bath.”Â
“Gembel [homeless trash] does not fit the Islamic law. Muslims do prayer and are meant to be pure, be clean.”Â
Iskandar also roundly denied that the detainees rights had been infringed upon, despite their being held with no criminal charges.
“If we are considered as violating human rights because they are not as free as they are on the street, whose human rights formulation is that?”Â he said. “Please judge us. We do not torture them.”Â
Just the opposite, he said, the re-education program was carried out ”â paid for by the city administration ”â out of a spirit of caring for the youths.
“If some of them with ear-piercings and other big [piercing] holes have made a request to close the hole, then we will fix it. So, what further human rights what one might ask for? I have no idea.”Â
Iskandar also brushed aside the idea that the punks should have been put under the care of social welfare organizations rather than the police, saying that at the time of the concert, the police were the only ones equipped to take in and care for the 65 detainees.
“Therefore, we recommend that the municipal government create a regional law for [the punks’] guidance and education.”Â
But the rounding up and re-education of the 65 youths did not constitute a war on “punk,”Â Iskandar said. “As long as he is not homeless and does not interfere with other people, why should we ban him? That’s the point. We do not see his identity, but his looks.”Â