Human Rights Voices

While the UN devotes its human rights operations to the demonization of the democratic state of Israel above all others and condemns the United States more often than the vast majority of non-democracies around the world, the voices of real victims around the world must be heard.

Malaysia, August 14, 2018

Malaysian women to be caned for 'attempting lesbian sex'

Original source

Reuters

Two Malaysian women convicted for attempting to have lesbian sex will be fined and caned, a prosecutor said on Tuesday, in a rare case against gay people in the Muslim-majority country.

Islamic enforcement officers in the conservative northeastern state of Terengganu found the two Muslim women attempting to engage in sexual acts in a car during a patrol in April, according to prosecutor Muhamad Khasmizan Abdullah.

The women were charged under the Islamic sharia law known as musahaqah - which bans lesbian sex - and sentenced to six strokes of the cane and a fine of 3,300 Malaysian ringgit ($806) each this week after pleading guilty, the prosecutor said.

The conviction comes amid concerns around growing intolerance toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Malaysia after activists criticised some officials for making homophobic remarks in recent weeks.

"Sexual intercourse between people of the same sex is forbidden in Islam. It is an offence and morally wrong," Muhamad Khasmizan told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

"This verdict is a first for us," the prosecutor added, saying it was the first time people had been convicted for same-sex reltions in Terengganu.

Malaysia is home to 32 million people, where ethnic Malay Muslims make up more than 60 percent of the population and the remaining ethnic minorities practice other religions such as Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism.

It has a dual-track legal system, with Islamic criminal and family laws applicable to Muslims running alongside civil laws.

The two women, aged 32 and 22, are on bail pending the execution of the sentence on August 28, Muhamad Khasmizan said, adding that the religious officers who saw the women found one in a state of undress, and also discovered a dildo in the car.