Activists and fans have slammed authorities after a transgender woman was arrested and placed into a male prison despite identifying as female.
Instagram influencer Millen Cyrus was arrested over suspected drug use on Monday and put behind bars at a detention centre for men.
Millen, a 21-year-old model, who has around a million followers on social media, was detained by police with a friend following a drugs raid at a hotel in Tanjung Priok Port in North Jakarta, Indonesia.
The decision to place her in a male prison sparked a public backlash from the trans community, denouncing officials for a lack of sensitivity.
Millen herself told reporters: "I hope there is a way for me … not to be put into the men’s cell"
Police chief Ahrie Sonta told local newspaper Detik: "Millen was placed in a cell according to the sex written on her citizen's identity card, and it says male."
The move was swiftly met with condemnation from the country’s Human Rights Commission, as it is not the first time a trans woman has been detained in a male prison.
Millen, formerly known as her birth name Muhammad Millendaru Prakasa's arrest, sparked renewed fury from the LGTBQ+ community over alleged transphobia.
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Anggun Pradesha, a Jakarta-based trans rights activist, told South China Morning Post: "Our country justifies a man as somebody with a penis, and a woman as somebody with a vagina, even though in many cases those with a penis identify as a woman and vice versa.
"The state should accommodate those [gender non-conformers].
"When a trans woman is enmeshed in a legal proceeding, I personally think that she should be detained in a women’s cell, and I believe that the other women in the cell wouldn’t be opposed to this.
"Placing Millen in a men’s detention cell is a big mistake and a sign of insensitivity from the police to gender diversity."
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Millen has long been a target of transphobia, including from her aunt, who live-streamed an assault on Instagram where she pulled her fake eyelashes off her face.
Activists feared Millen would be attacked if she was kept in a male prison, and pressed authorities to move her.
The National Commission on Violence Against Woman added that detaining Millen alongside men put her at risk of sexual abuse and harassment.
Police have since relented and opted to place the influencer in a solo cell as she awaits charges.
A spokesman for the authorities said: "She will be by herself, not placed together with male or female [detainees] because we put her in a special cell so there won’t be a polemic.
"This decision was made by the police force."
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