Malaysia: Caning of two women for same-sex relations must be stopped once and for all



29 August 2018

Responding to the announcement that two women, sentenced to six strokes of caning for having sexual relations, have had their punishment postponed until 3 September, Gwen Lee, Amnesty International Malaysia’s Interim Executive Director said:

“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.

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 Malaysia government is serious about increasing its ratification of international treaties, as it has stated, it must end the use of caning and repeal the laws that impose these torturous punishments completely.”


On 12 August 2018, the Terengganu Shariah High Court sentenced two Malaysian women, aged 22 and 32, to a fine of RM3,300 (£633) and six strokes of caning for attempting to have sexual intercourse.

The court’s decision comes at a time of growing concern around the climate of fear and discrimination against LGBTI people in Malaysia. Just a few weeks ago, Penang State Government removed the portraits of two prominent LGBTI rights activists, from public display at the George Town Festival after being contacted by Religious Minister Datuk Dr. Mujahid Yusof Rawa, who said that the Parliament does “not support the promotion of LGBT culture in Malaysia”. This is just one of a series of attacks against LGBTI people in recent months.