Thursday, November 26, 2020

Indon Transgender Influencer Placed In Men Cell, Activists Comdemn


Activists have strongly condemned law enforcement officials for placing a transgender woman in a men’s detention facility, calling it an insensitive move against the special needs and security risks of the detainee.

The Tanjung Priok Port Police in North Jakarta had arrested M, an Instagram celebrity, for alleged drug abuse. M, a trans woman, was named a suspect and placed along with other men detainees amid an ongoing investigation process.

The decision was made based on the fact that M was identified as a male on her ID card, Tanjung Priok Port Police head Adj. Sr. Comr. Ahrie Sonta said as reported by on Monday.

The case was still developing, Ahrie said, adding that the police’s narcotics detective unit was still chasing after two people suspected of being the suppliers and dealers of the crystal methamphetamine consumed by M.

The move has sparked concerns among rights and legal activists that claim such ill-treatment was repeatedly carried out by the police.

Law enforcement officials should understand that M expressed herself as a female, thus should be treated as such, Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) researcher Maidina Rahmawati said.

“Holding M in the men’s place clearly poses security risks, stigma, harassment and violence, the inevitable potential for human rights violations,” Maidina said in a statement on Monday.

She urged the authorities to consider vulnerabilities of detainees and look beyond physical documents.

“The problem is we don’t have any legal guarantees that pay attention to these specific needs,” she said.

Read also: TNI slammed for anti-LGBT campaign after jailing soldier

The ICJR also opposed the detention of M, Maidina said, arguing that this was a case of alleged possession of narcotics for personal consumption and called for the authorities to take a rehabilitation approach instead.

In a separate statement to The Jakarta Post, Maidina further said M had been caught possessing 0.36 grams of narcotics, below the threshold of 1 gram in accordance with the Supreme Court Circular Letter (SEMA) No. 4/2010 concerning the placement of drug abusers, drug abuse victims and addicts into rehabilitation institutions.

She also argued M’s immediate detention was unnecessary considering the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

This is not the first controversy surrounding the placement of detainees with consideration of their gender identity.

Earlier this year, a similar circumstance befell LL, a public figure who was caught using drugs. Authorities were puzzled over whether to put LL in a men’s or a women’s cell after information circulated in the public that LL was a trans woman.

With a body and face like this, sure kena kaw kaw. Got 1 million IG followers

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