Two women are caned under Malaysia's sharia law for 'trying to have lesbian sex' in the back of a car

Two women were arrested in Malaysia for 'having sex in a car' They were convicted of sexual relations between women in sharia court Women, 32 and 22, were caned six times each and fined 3,300 ringgit (£620) Campaigners say its the first time Malaysian women have been caned for gay sex

04 September 2018 - 10:07

Two Malaysian women have been caned after an Islamic law court convicted them of having lesbian sex, despite an outcry from activists at the 'cruel and unjust' punishment.

The women, aged 22 and 32, were arrested in April after they were found in a car in a public square in northern Terengganu state, one of the country's most conservative areas.

The pair, whose identities have not been revealed, pleaded guilty to breaking Islamic laws and were sentenced to six strokes of the cane each and a fine of 3,300 ringgit (£620).

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.

Campaigners said it was the first time that women in Malaysia have been caned for violating a sharia regulation which forbids same-sex relations.

The country operates a dual-track legal system and Islamic courts can handle religious and family matters for Muslim citizens, as well as cases such as adultery.

The two women were caned at the Sharia High Court in Kuala Terengganu, state capital of Terengganu, a court official confirmed to AFP.

The women's conviction sparked a storm of criticism. Before the caning was carried out, Gwen Lee, Amnesty International's Malaysia head, slammed the punishment as 'cruel and unjust'.


One of the two women found guilty of having same-sex relations arrives at court for her caning accompanied by a police woman and a relative, in  northern Terengganu state, Malaysia

One of the two women found guilty of having same-sex relations arrives at court for her caning accompanied by a police woman and a relative, in northern Terengganu state, Malaysia


Malaysia has a dual track legal system where sharia courts can handle religious and family matters

Malaysia has a dual track legal system where sharia courts can handle religious and family matters

Malaysia 'must end the use of caning and repeal the laws that impose these torturous punishments completely,' she said.

Thilaga Sulathireh, from transgender rights group Justice for Sisters, said the caning would 'increase the impunity of perpetrators to carry out acts of violence' aimed at gay people.

Concerns have been mounting in recent weeks in Malaysia, a multi-ethnic country where some 60 percent of the population is Muslim, about a deteriorating climate for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

The Islamic affairs minister has spoken out against homosexuals and ordered pictures of LGBT activists to be removed from a public exhibition, while a transgender woman was brutally attacked in the southern state of Negeri Sembilan.

Malaysian Muslims have traditionally practised a tolerant brand of Islam but concerns have been growing in recent years that attitudes are becoming more conservative.


Source: daily mail
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