Lesbian Couple Caned For Having Sex

Women caned in Malaysia for attempting to have lesbian sex

Malaysia: Two women caned for ‘attempting lesbian sex’

The two unnamed women, ages 22 and 32, were arrested in April after Islamic enforcement officers spotted them in a vehicle together in northeast Terengganu state, according to Agence France-Presse.

Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Amnesty's Malaysia researcher, said: "To inflict this brutal punishment on two people for attempting to engage in consensual, same-sex relations is an atrocious setback on the government's efforts to improve its human rights records".

Two Malaysian women convicted under Islamic law of attempting to have sex have been caned in public.

"This is a awful day for LGBTI rights, and indeed human rights, in Malaysia", Amnesty International's Malaysia Researcher Rachel Chhoa-Howard said in a statement.

The duo pleaded guilty last month to breaking the Islamic sharia law known as musahaqah - which bans lesbian sex - and were sentenced to lashing and a fine of $800.

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"Boycott Malaysian products until the government there stops torturing people for living their lives", Blocker wrote on his Twitter page. The group noted that caning amounts to torture, which is prohibited under global law.

The women, dressed in white headscarves and clothing, didn't cry or scream but "showed remorse", said Muslim Lawyers' Association deputy president Abdul Rahim Sinwan.

Malaysia follows a dual-track justice system.

A member of the Terengganu state executive council, Satiful Bahri Mamat, defended the punishment, telling the agency it had not been meant to "torture or injure" and had been carried out in public to "serve as a lesson to society".

The fact that this was carried out in a courtroom, in front of activists, officials, family members and dozens of onlookers, was, she said, "a sign Malaysia is becoming a more hostile place". "The caning of the two women is a awful reminder of the depth of discrimination and criminalisation that LGBTI people face in the country", the non-governmental organisation said.

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Earlier last month, a minister ordered that portraits of LGBT activists be removed from a public exhibition. "I have consistently repeated in Parliament that we do not support the promotion of LGBT culture in Malaysia", he said at the time.

Almost two-thirds of Malaysia's 31 million people are Muslims, who are governed by Islamic courts in family, marriage and personal matters.

"These inconsistencies create confusion in the jurisdiction of the Prisons Department thus directly affecting the rights of women in Malaysia protected by Article 8 (2) of the Federal Constitution against gender discrimination", they said.

Malaysian rights group Women's Aid Organisation told Reuters news agency it was "appalled by this grave violation of human rights". And also homosexual sex is illegal throughout Malaysia under the colonial era law.

Malaysia is known to be a moderate Muslim-majority country but has seen rising religious sentiment in recent years.

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