Malaysian women caned under Islamic law for lesbian sex

Malaysia: Two women caned for ‘attempting lesbian sex’

Malaysia: Two women caned for ‘attempting lesbian sex’

She said: "The public caning of the two women in Malaysia is a terrible reminder of the depth of discrimination LGBTI people face in the country and a sign that the new government condones the use of inhuman and degrading punishments, much like its predecessor".

Rights campaigners said it was the first time women in Malaysia have been caned for violating a syariah regulation which forbids same-sex relations.

Around 100 people witnessed the punishment in the courtroom, including public onlookers, government agencies' representatives, and NGO members.

On 12 August they were found guilty of "musahaqah", sexual acts between women, in the Terengganu sharia high court and sentenced to six lashes each, in addition to a 3,300 Malaysian Ringgit (£620) fine. The women, who had pleaded guilty to having "sexual relations between women", were led to a stool, and two female officers took turns striking them in the back.

Unlike caning under civil laws, the punishment used under Islamic laws isn't meant to serve as a lesson rather than being painful or harsh, according to Sinwan.

He said there were fears among both Muslims and non-Muslims over efforts to implement the shariah.

"Caning is a form of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and may amount to torture, " Amnesty International Malaysia said in a statement.

The public nature of the caning has been criticised, including by Umno's Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin, who said it should not have been done publicly as Islamic teachings are that the dignity of each person should be looked after. In the past weeks, Mujahid Yusof Rawa, minister in the prime minister's department, told reporters that the government under Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who was elected in May, does not recognize the LGBT community and focuses instead on helping LGBT people toward the "right path" through campaigns, seminars and camps.

"This case shows a regression for human rights", she said, "Not only for LGBT people but all persons because corporal punishment affects all people". Linda Lakhdhir, legal adviser in the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch, told CNN that the punishment was the religious rights way of "flexing their muscles and making clear that the law against LGBT activity will be enforced in their state". "We really need to make sure that no one is publicly caned. due to their sexuality", he said.

According to The Sun, Thilaga Sulathireh, an activist from Justice for Sisters, said the punishment had been turned into a public spectacle.

Reportedly the situation for LGBT communityis getting harder and harder in Malaysia. During a public exhibition, he ordered that pictures of LGBTQ activists be removed, and has been vocal against the gay community.

Malaysia is seen as a moderate and stable Muslim-majority country, but there has been a shift toward increasingly conservative Islam in recent years.

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