The caning of two lesbian women by a religious court in Malaysia has been postponed amid outcry from human rights activists. The women had pleaded
The caning of two lesbian women by a religious court in Malaysia has been postponed amid outcry from human rights activists.
The women had pleaded guilty to charges of having lesbian sex, in a country where strict Islamic laws forbid “sodomy” as a crime and a threat to the Muslim-majority country’s conservative values.
The couple was sentenced to a fine and six strokes of the cane, but the punishment – scheduled to take place on Tuesday – was postponed by a religious court in Terengganu due to “technical reasons”.
It is not yet a victory for rights groups – the Shariah High Court said the caning would still take place, now on 3 September.
“A few agencies will be involved in the punishment, and there are some technical issues that have yet to be resolved,” court registrar Nurul Huda Abdul Rahman was quoted as saying by English-language daily The Star.
Court officials involved in the case could not be reached by telephone to seek a comment.
Civil rights groups say intolerance towards the LGBT community in Malaysia has been increasing in recent months.
A transgender woman was brutally beaten up by a group of assailants in Seremban, south of Kuala Lumpur on 15 August, in what activists said was part of a growing hostility towards gay and transgender people in Malaysia.
Authorities removed the portraits of two LGBT activists from a public photography exhibition earlier this month, saying they promoted LGBT activities.