Two Women Sentenced To Caning In Malaysia For Having Gay Sex


Indonesia's Aceh province

Two women in Malaysia have been sentenced to six lashes with a cane after they were arrested for having sex with each other.

Police arrested the women, aged 32 and 22, in April for trying to have sex in a car in the state of Terengganu, in the country’s north-west, Pink News reported.

Police accused the pair of being lesbians, and judge Kamalruazmi Ismail said he gave the women the sentence in order to deter other members of society.

“[This] adequate punishment must be meted out so that this becomes a lesson and reminder to not just the two of you, but the members of society,” he said in his ruling.

The judge also fined the women RM3,300 ($AU1100) each, and they will face a four-month prison term if they fail to pay. They are scheduled to be caned on August 28.

Same-sex intercourse is outlawed in Malaysia, and caning is a legal form of corporal punishment in the country. As many as 10,000 people are caned every year, human rights groups estimate.

A group of local organizations, including Justice For Sisters, released a joint statement condemning the Malaysian women’s sentence as a violation of their human rights.

“The sentencing of the two women in Terengganu is a gross violation of their dignity and human rights as guaranteed by the Federal Constitution, international human rights treaties that Malaysia has ratified and international laws,” they wrote.

“The role of the court is to ensure justice is served and upheld, not to increase victimisation of persons based on personal prejudice. Punishment cannot be used as lessons for society.

“Criminalization of consensual sex between adults is a gross violation of human rights, and Malaysia has been called to review and repeal laws that criminalise LGBTQ persons based on consensual sexual acts in many international human rights fora. Consensual sex acts between adults is not a crime.

“We are also extremely concerned about the escalating attacks and repression against LGBTIQ persons in Malaysia, and the impact of such punishment in this environment. Such punishment will further fuel hatred, discrimination and violence towards LGBTIQ persons with impunity.”

(Photo: Women caned in neighbouring Indonesia, via YouTube)