Dozens of punk rockers held in IndonesiaDecember 15th, 2011 - 5:56 pm ICT by IANS
Jakarta, Dec 15 (IANS/AKI) Dozens of Indonesians in the highly-conservative Aceh region were rounded up for being punk rockers and are being held for re-education to cure “the social disease”, according to the deputy mayor of the city where they were arrested.
“The punk community’s existence has caused unrest and disturbed society in Banda Aceh,” Banda Aceh deputy mayor Illiza Sa’aduddin Djamal told the Jakarta Globe Wednesday. She said the punks are “new social disease that should be stopped”.
Sixty-four so-called punks were arrested Tuesday and taken to a police academy where their heads were shaved. Though there is no such crime, they were charged with “being punk”.
Aceh punk rockers took part in a “Street Punk” charity concert held in a park Saturday, three days before the arrests.
Banda Aceh is the provincial capital and largest city in the province of Aceh where Sharia, or Islamic law, is enforced in many of the towns and villages.
A 30-year separatist movement in Aceh, located in the northern tip of Sumatra, ended with an amnesty for insurgents and elections in 2006. The Indonesian government in 2001 granted the region the autonomous right to impose a measure of Islamic law.
“This is a new social disease in Banda Aceh. If we allow it, the government has to spend more money to handle them,” Illiza said in the interview. “Their morality was destroyed. Men and women joining in one place is against Islamic Shariah.”
She said she has the support of the community and that the government will continue to hunt for punks and send them to school for 10 days. IIIiza estimates there are 200 punk rockers in Banda Aceh, the Jakarta Globe reported.
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