Malaysian women caned for attempted lesbian sex

Malaysian women caned for attempted lesbian sex

Two Malaysian women convicted of attempting lesbian sex in a vehicle have been caned in front of dozens of people, according to media and a state government official, prompting an outcry from human rights activists.

After a medical officer confirmed the health status of the accused and that they were ready to be whipped, the women, aged 32 and 22, were led to a stool at the corner of the courtroom with their back facing those in the public gallery.

The two unidentified women were discovered by Islamic officials in April and sentenced last month by a Shariah court to six strokes of a cane and a fine after pleading guilty.

Observers from the Terengganu Syariah Lawyers Association and the State Bar Council said they were satisfied with the execution of the sentence.

The case has sparked widespread condemnation and focused attention on what rights groups say is a deteriorating climate for the gay community in the Muslim-majority country.

According to The Sun, Thilaga Sulathireh, an activist from Justice for Sisters, said the punishment had been turned into a public spectacle. The women were caned six times each in the Sharia High Court in front of around 100 people.

Amnesty International called the caning "a awful day" for human rights.

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Wanita MCA chairman Datuk Heng Seai Kie, as quoted in The Star, said the public caning punishment violates the Federal Constitution, in which Section 289 of the Criminal Procedure Code states that women are exempted from public caning.

It is also the first time a public caning has occurred in the state, a member of the state executive told Reuters. "Corporal punishment is a form of torture regardless of your intention".

Amnesty International said it was a "dreadful reminder of the depth of discrimination LGBT people face in the country and a sign that the new government condones the use of inhuman and degrading punishments, much like its predecessor".

"Islam teaches us to look after the dignity of every human being".

The punishment, which is banned under civil law in Malaysia, is allowed under Islamic law in the country's dual-track legal system. "And that mercy is preferable to punishment." .

Two Malaysian women convicted of attempting to have lesbian sex in a vehicle have been caned in a religious court.

Same-sex relations are abhorred in Malaysia and considered illegal under both secular and religious laws. "We really need to make sure that no one is publicly caned. due to their sexuality", he said. Islamic Affairs Minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa has spoken out against bullying and said Islamic authorities should end their focus on arresting transgender women for "posing as a female".

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