STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Malaysian women to be caned for lesbian sex in contravention of strict Islamic laws

The women, aged 22 and 32, were arrested in April by Islamic enforcement officers after they were found in a car in a public square in northern Terengganu state.

Published: 14th August 2018 04:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th August 2018 06:51 PM   |  A+A-

LGBTQ

Image for representational purpose (EPS File | Ashwin Prasath)

By AFP

KUALA LUMPUR: Two Malaysian women have been sentenced to caning after they admitted having sex in contravention of strict Islamic laws, an official said Tuesday, sparking outrage from rights groups.

Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have increasingly faced pressure in the Muslim-majority country in recent years, with officials frequently accused of targeting them.

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

They were brought before an Islamic court on Sunday and admitted to breaking a sharia law that forbids sexual relations between women. 

They were sentenced to six strokes of the cane each and fined 3,300 ringgit ($800), Mohamad Khasmizan Abdullah, a prosecutor with the Terengganu religious department told AFP.

"This is a serious case. The prosecutors urged the court to impose the maximum sentence," Khasmizan said.

He said if the sentence was carried out, they would be the first women to be caned in Terengganu for breaking Islamic laws. They are free on bail and their sentence is set to be carried out on August 28, although they have the right to appeal.

Caning is conducted out of public view in Malaysia.

Malaysia operates a dual-track legal system and Islamic courts can handle religious and family matters, as well as cases such as adultery.

Malaysian Muslims, who make up over 60 percent of the country's 32 million inhabitants, have traditionally practised a tolerant brand of Islam but concerns have been growing in recent years that attitudes are becoming more conservative.

A statement released by rights groups Justice for Sisters, and endorsed by other campaign groups, criticised the women's sentence as "torture".

"Criminalisation of consensual sex between adults is a gross violation of human rights," it said.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp