NDTV Beeps - your daily newsletter. Two Malaysian women were caned Monday for having lesbian sex in violation of strict Islamic laws, sparking outrage from activists at the "inhuman and degrading" punishment. About 60 percent of the 32 million inhabitants are Muslim. The country operates a dual-track legal system. 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.
A judge read out their sentence just before Caning under Islamic law is carried out with a relatively thin cane on subjects who are fully clothed, and is more about humiliation than causing pain. Thilaga Sulathireh, from transgender rights group Justice for Sisters, said the caning would only "increase the impunity of perpetrators to carry out acts of violence" aimed at gay people. Sodomy is a crime for all ethnic groups under a law dating back to British colonial rule, although the statute is rarely enforced. Court official Wan Abdul Malik Wan Sidek defended the punishment, saying it was not as tough as caning carried out for numerous crimes under Malaysia's civil law. The women's conviction in Malaysia sparked a storm of criticism Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia: Lesbian sex is illegal for Muslims in Malaysia under Islamic laws, but not for the country's substantial minorities of ethnic Chinese and Indians. They said the case highlights the worsening climate for gay people in the Muslim-majority country. Conviction could result in a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Two Malaysian women were caned Monday for having lesbian sex in violation of strict Islamic laws, sparking outrage from activists at the "inhuman and degrading" punishment. Islamic courts can handle religious and family matters for Muslim citizens, as well as cases such as adultery. 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. The country operates a dual-track legal system. Upon being arrested on September 20, , Anwar was beaten by the police chief at that time, resulting in severe facial injuries. The charges were later changed to consensual sodomy, after the authorities determined that Anwar, a year-old with a bad back, was physically incapable of compelling the young man to engage in acts against his will. The conviction was overturned in The complainant avoided being charged because he had reported the incident and asserted he needed protection. The younger woman sobbed but the elder one showed no reaction. His previous trial for sodomy, which resulted in a conviction in and a nine-year prison sentence, was marred by rights violations throughout. About 60 percent of the 32 million inhabitants are Muslim. Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed. Leading members of the Commonwealth of Nations, to which Malaysia belongs, called for the abolition of sodomy laws during the recently concluded summit meeting in Brisbane, Australia. The women, dressed in white dresses and Muslim headscarves, were each given six strokes as they sat on stools in a sharia court, with one of them breaking down in tears. Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim at a break session during his trial in Kuala Lumpur on February 14, In , the Human Rights Committee, the UN body of experts that monitors civil and political rights, held that sodomy laws violate the right to privacy and non-discrimination. A reformist alliance took power in Malaysia at historic May elections, fuelling hopes that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT people might face less discrimination in a country where authorities have routinely targeted them in the past. Campaigners said it was the first time women in Malaysia have been caned for violating a sharia regulation which forbids same-sex relations.
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