Malaysia under fire after caning four men for gay sex


malaysia Indonesia's Aceh province caned whipped islam
Woman caned in neighbouring Indonesia. Photo: YouTube

Authorities have caned four men in Malaysia for having gay sex in violation of Islamic laws, angering human rights groups.

The men, aged 26 to 37, received six strokes of the cane each for attempting the offence of “intercourse against the order of nature” under sharia law, according to Amnesty International.

Advertisements

They admitted to committing the offence in a flat last year. An Islamic court also handing out fines to the men and sentencing them to jail terms of up to seven months each.

Authorities discovered the private event by monitoring messages between the men. They then sent a team of 50 officers to raid the apartment and detain them, according to Amnesty.

A fifth man convicted with the others was not caned as he is appealing against the punishment.

“These vicious punishments against LGBTI people are the actual crimes being committed here,” Amnesty’s Malaysia director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu said.

“Malaysia should be creating an environment in which LGBTI people are free from discrimination, not ensnaring and beating innocent people.”

A further six men arrested in the apartment raid were still facing charges this week, Amnesty added.

“Authorities should drop charges against the six other men before they suffer the same unjustifiable treatment,” Kaliemuthu said.

“The Malaysian authorities must repeal all repressive laws against LGBTI people, outlaw cruel punishments, and ratify the UN Convention against Torture.”

Homosexuality is currently illegal in Malaysia. Same-sex sexual acts carry punishments of prison sentences of up to 20 years and convictions are rare.

However, more than 60 percent of Malaysia’s population are Malay Muslims and face penalties under the country’s dual-track legal system.

Islamic criminal and family laws apply to Muslims and run alongside civil laws.

Escalating crackdown on LGBTIQ people in Malaysia

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad last year said that Malaysia could not accept “Western values” such as same-sex marriage.

Advertisements

Last September, authorities also found two women guilty of “attempting” to have lesbian sex in a car.

The pair were caned six times each in a public courtroom for violating Islamic laws in the country’s north-eastern state of Terengganu.

Local human rights group warned of “escalating attacks and repression against LGBTIQ people” in Malaysia.

“[The women’s punishment] further fuel hatred, discrimination and violence towards LGBTIQ persons with impunity,” they warned at the time.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.