Malaysia: Two Women Caned In Public For Sex

From Free Malaysia Today:
PETALING JAYA: The Terengganu government today defended the state Shariah High Court’s decision to hold a public caning of two women for lesbian sex, saying critics should not make assumptions without witnessing the form and method of carrying out the sentence.

Satiful Bahari Mamat, the state executive councillor for shariah implementation, education and higher studies, said the caning was different from the harsher whipping imposed by civil courts.

“The critics may not have understood or witnessed the punishment but made an assumption based on civil laws which provide for harsher penalties.

“That is why caning under civil laws is done in prison and on the bare buttocks.

“However, under shariah laws, the offender is caned while seated and with the aurat covered, and the caning is done lightly because the objective is to educate,” he told FMT.

The two women, aged 22 and 32, pleaded guilty to attempting to have same-sex relations and were caned six times each at the Shariah High Court in Kuala Terengganu on Monday, watched by about 100 people….

Islamic Renaissance Front director Ahmad Farouk Musa described the caning as inhumane and a form of humiliation, adding that the country was “regressing to the Middle Ages”.

“Although it happened in a state not governed by the Pakatan Harapan federal government, such degrading laws should not be allowed in this country,” he said, referring to PAS-ruled Terengganu.

Satiful called Farouk’s criticism contempt of court….

“The offenders in this case were given time to file an appeal but they chose not to do it. In Islam, opportunity is given to the offenders to repent, to defend themselves and they are punished only after they admit guilt,” he said.

Referring to comments by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa that the presence of outsiders during the caning in Terengganu needed to be looked into, Satiful said the process was in line with provisions in the Quran.

He said the Quran stated that punishment should be carried out in public for the purpose of educating them.

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