The caning of two women for same-sex relations in Terengganu must be stopped, not just delayed, says Amnesty International Malaysia.
Its interim executive director Gwen Lee said that while it was “pleased” that the punishment for the women had been delayed, a delay in itself was not adequate, given the injustice of the sentencing.
“We are pleased that the cruel and unjust punishment that was handed down to these two women did not take place as scheduled.
“However, a delay is obviously not enough. Both women must now have their sentences quashed immediately and unconditionally to reverse this injustice once and for all,” said Lee in a statement on Wednesday (Aug 29).
She said the caning sentence meted on the women had received condemnation globally and that the Government should take a stand against the use of caning as a punishment should it want to be seen as serious in honouring international treaties on human rights.
“The decision to subject two people to physical punishment simply for having same-sex relations has rightly attracted a chorus of condemnation from across the world.
“If the Malaysian government is serious about increasing its ratification of international treaties, as it has stated, it must end the use of caning and repeal laws that impose these torturous punishments completely,” said Lee.
The women, aged 22 and 23, were fined RM3,300 and sentenced to six strokes of the rotan (caning) by the Terengganu Syariah Court on Aug 22 for attempting to have sexual intercourse.- The Star