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Kuala Terengganu Syariah High Court carries out caning punishment of two woman

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PHOTOS: The Star, Asia News Network

Two women have been caned six times each as punishment after pleading guilty to same-sex relations by the Kuala Terengganu Syariah High Court.

The Star reports that 150 people were present in the courtroom watching as a lady officer from Kajang Women’s Prison carried out the sentence with a cane measuring about a metre.

The officer swung the cane, hitting the first woman’s back with a force similar to a forceful tap, as another woman officer from the Prison’s Department kept count.

However, when it came to the younger woman, sobs could be heard as another woman prison officer carried out the sentence.

The women, 32 and 22 years old, were supposed to have been caned on August 28 but had their sentences postponed to yesterday.

On August 12, the Syariah High Court fined the women 3,300 Ringit (26,000 baht) and ordered that they be caned six times each for committing musahaqah (sexual relations between women) under Section 30 of the Syariah Criminal Offences Enact­ment (Takzir) (Terengganu).

The caning for such an offence is believed to be the first to be carried out in the state.

Court officials took every measure to protect the women’s privacy. Those who wanted to be inside the courtroom had to surrender their phones to officials at the door, who placed them in plastic bags secured with zip lock strips, before being allowed in.

At 10am sharp, Syariah High Court judge Kamalruazmi Ismail entered the courtroom, accompanied by State Syariah Chief Judge Wan Mohd Zakri Wan Mohd and State Senior Syariah Judge Rosdi Harun.

He later read out the sentence and advised people not to shun them as they had shown repentance by accepting their punishment.

“This sentence is not meant to hurt but to serve as a lesson,” he said, adding that the women had been given a chance to appeal their sentence but they chose not to.

About 10 minutes later, the accused were led separately into the courtroom.

They had changed into plain white baju kurung and matching headscarves, which paled in comparison to what they wore when they arrived at court around 8.20am – bright coloured baju kurung with floral motifs and headscarves.

After the medical officer confirmed that the 32 year old was fit enough to receive her punishment, she was led to a high stool at the corner of the courtroom.

Her back faced the people in the room and the side of her face was covered.

The officer proceeded to carry out the sentence at her own time and pace, in accordance with Section 125 of the Syariah Criminal Procedure (Terengganu) Enactment 2001, which also states that the cane should not be swung from a level above the head.

You can read the full report HERE.

 

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