can
03 Sep
  • By Aizhana Danabekova

Malaysian women are caned for having lesbian sex

Two Malaysian women, aged 22 and 32, were caned six times in the Sharia High Court in the state of Terengganu. The women tried to have lesbian sex in a car. In addition, they were sentenced to a fine of 3,300 ringgits ($806). “Sexual contacts between people of the same sex in Islam are prohibited; therefore the crime is immoral,” says Muhammed Hysmyran, the state attorney.

However, according to Gwen Lee, an executive director of Amnesty International Malaysia, it is a cruel punishment that proves another step back in recognition of LGBT rights in Malaysia.  “LGBT people face the problem of growing discrimination and persecution throughout the country. Such verdicts only confirm that Malaysia is becoming a more hostile place for its LGBT citizens.”

It should be noted that In Malaysia, there are 32 million people and more than 60 % of the population are ethnic Malay Muslims, and the remaining ethnic minorities profess other religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism. The country has a dual system of justice: laws in the criminal and family law that apply to Muslims, and civil laws.

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Aizhana Danabekova holds a BA in International Relations and is currently studying for an MSocSc in Cultural Sociology at University College Dublin. She started her career in journalism in Almaty, Kazakhstan at Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.  She wrote articles about different cultures and led the title “Let’s learn Kazakh”.