Dozens of men attacked two waria (transgender people) in Bekasi, West Java, on Monday night.
An activist who requested anonimity who knew the victims well said one of them had just arrived at the scene at around midnight for a gathering with fellow transgender people, while the other victim had already been waiting at the scene.
“Not long after that, around 50-60 men in white clothing on motorcycles chased the two waria to a place where fellow transgender people had gathered,” she said in a written statement on Wednesday.
She said the men had parked their motorcycles and then chased the victims on foot near a gas station and caught them in front of a Hoka Hoka Bento fast food outlet.
The men had forced one of the waria that looked more feminine to strip but then told her to put her clothes back on upon seeing her breasts, while continuing the assault with a 50-centimeter long metal rod and cutting off her long hair.
Meanwhile, the other victim, who wore a short-hair wig and therefore appeared more masculine, was stripped naked, hit on the chest and had the wig removed by force, while the men shouted, “You are a man, right? And your friend is a banci [transvestite]? Don’t you know that it’s a sin [to be transgender].”
The victims cried and called for mercy, saying “Ya Allah”, but the men said, “There is no Allah for you. No need to mention Allah. You don’t deserve to have been born,” the activist went on.
The men who assaulted the victims were still very young, with those aged 14-20 years continuing to attack the victims even though the older ones, around 25 years of age, had told them to stop.
The men returned to their bikes after that and left the scene. Several onlookers, including restaurant employees, came to help and clothed the victims and advised them to report the incident to the police, but the victims were reluctant to do so.