Duo in Terengganu lesbian sex case whipped six times

Women caned in Malaysia for attempting to have lesbian sex

The two unnamed women, ages 22 and 32, were arrested in April after Islamic enforcement officers spotted them in a auto together in northeast Terengganu state, according to Agence France-Presse.

Campaigners said it was the first time that women in Malaysia have been caned for violating a sharia regulation which forbids same-sex relations.

Two Malaysian women convicted under Islamic law of attempting to have sex have been caned in public.

The unidentified women, aged 22 and 23, were fined 806 dollars (3,300 ringgit) in addition to the six strokes of the cane.

Amnesty International said it was a "dreadful reminder of the depth of discrimination LGBT people face in the country and a sign that the new government condones the use of inhuman and degrading punishments, much like its predecessor".

He insisted that the caning was "not meant to torture or injure", adding that "the reason it is carried out in public is for it to serve as a lesson to society".

They didn't cry or scream, they "showed remorse", Muslim Lawyers' Association Deputy President Abdul Rahim Sinwan told the AP. "Repentance is the ultimate aim for their sin".

"The Kuala Terengganu Syariah High Court and Malaysian Prisons Department therefore may have acted against the law in its execution today", they said in a joint statement.

"Questions are raised on why the execution was authorised and officers from the department appointed to carry out the sentence", they said.

Human rights groups criticised the punishment as a setback for human rights and said it could worsen discrimination against people in Malaysia's lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender community.

Lawmaker Charles Santiago said the government must repeal all laws that criminalize homosexuality.

Almost two-thirds of Malaysia's 31 million people are Muslims, who are governed by Islamic courts in family, marriage and personal matters. A transgender woman was also beaten up by a group of people in a southern state this month.

Malaysia is known to be a moderate Muslim-majority country but has seen rising religious sentiment in recent years.

Malaysia is now embroiled in a political furore over LGBT+ rights, sparked by government minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa's order to an arts festival to remove its portraits of local queer activists last month.

Thilaga Sulathireh, an activist for Malaysia-based human rights' group Justice for Sisters, told the Guardian that the punishment was "shocking and it was a spectacle". "I have consistently repeated in Parliament that we do not support the promotion of LGBT culture in Malaysia", he said at the time.

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