Police have moved Instagram celebrity Millen Cyrus from the male cell following public outrage over her initial placement despite her identity as a transwoman. Millen was named a suspect of possession and drug use on Monday.
Jakarta Metro Police spokesman Yusri Yunus said today that Millen has been placed in a special cell on her own, after police initially said she was to be placed in a male cell according to the gender listed on her KTP (identity card).
“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,” Yusri said.
Millen, who was formerly known as her birth name Muhammad Millendaru Prakasa, was arrested at a hotel in North Jakarta on Sunday night along with a man, identified as 33-year-old JR.
Her arrest awakened transphobic sentiments and highlighted the general lack of acceptance for trans people in the country, as the matter of which cell she would be assigned to become a topic of ridicule among social media users and the mainstream media alike.
Millen has long been a target of transphobia, including from her famous aunt, singer Ashanty. The latter had tried to shame Millen publicly on numerous occasions, including when she pulled her fake eyelashes during a family gathering and posted the video on Instagram for everyone to see.
However, those reports also sparked a wave of support noting Millen’s identity as a transwoman and concerns over placing her in a male cell during detainment, which has evidently pressured authorities to make the change today.
During the bust, police found a bong, a bottle of an alcoholic drink, and 0.36 grams of crystal meth, which is locally known as shabu. Police named Millen a suspect for possession and drug use after her urine test came out positive, while JR reportedly tested negative for drugs and is still considered a witness in the case.
Millen has reportedly used shabu several times in the past couple of months at different locations in Bali and Jakarta. She was charged with violation of Article 127 of the Narcotics Law, which, at best, may require that she attend rehabilitation, or, at worst, see her face up to four years in prison. Police said they are still pursuing two more suspects who were allegedly using drugs at the hotel room with Millen.