International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission criticizes Malaysia

International human rights organization accuses Malaysia of ‘stubbornly reject[ing] the rights of LGBT people’ 

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission criticizes Malaysia
16 October 2012

An international human rights organization has accused Malaysia of failing to protect the rights of its LGBT citizens.

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has highlighted in a press release that many countries in the South-east Asian region have recently made progress on LGBT rights, but the Malaysian government ‘continues to stubbornly reject the rights of LGBT people’.

Further damningly IGLHRC says that ‘this position reverberates throughout state institutions, encouraging hostility, discrimination, and abuse by state and religious authorities’.

The statement was prompted by news last week that a judge had ruled against four trans women who were challenging an Islamic Sharia law that prohibits cross-dressing.

The IGHRC spokesperson Grace Poore said the judge in that case, Justice Siti Mariah Ahmad, should have given an ‘explicit warning’ to Malaysia’s Islamic Religious Department to ‘to investigate, prosecute and convict its own religious officers for acts of verbal, physical, mental and sexual abuse against those in their custody, for supposedly breaking morality laws’.

Just last week Malaysia’s Star newspaper reported, in unsympathetic language, on a police raid of an area popular with trans sex workers in Penang. A police officer said ‘the locals were caught for indecency with the intention of engaging in prostitution’.

In February Gay Star News reported on the case of transgender singer Hafiz Jeffri who was fined in the Islamic court for ‘dressing in women’s clothing and having feminine mannerisms’.

Poore concluded damning indictment of Malaysia’s Islamic legal system saying:

‘Sharia judges across Malaysia must hold accountable Islamic religious officers (and police officers subject to sharia courts) who misuse their authority, take advantage of people’s vulnerabilities, humiliate them, and mistreat with impunity those they are hired to protect – including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.’ 

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Gay groups in Taiwan oppose appointment of anti-gay activists to gender equality committee

Individuals who oppose gay equality should not be appointed to the Committee for Gender Equality, say gay rights groups
No thumbnail available

Plan for Washington DC national LGBT museum

If a group of US philanthropists have their way the United States will have an LGBT specific national museum in the nation’s capital by 2018
No thumbnail available

Gay soap star Scott Evans arrested in LA on drug charges during 'ridiculous' night

Brother of actor Chris Evans was center of breakthrough gay storyline on ABC's One Life to Live
No thumbnail available

India government asks Supreme Court to clarify pro-trans ruling

The government says transgender rights should not be extended to gay people
No thumbnail available

Cooking the perfect turkey

Don’t get in a flap about your turkey this Christmas. Expert André Dang shares his top tips so you can cook the focus of your festive feast to perfection without any of the fuss
No thumbnail available

Actor returns to role on US soap General Hospital - but now his character is gay

Ryan Carnes to play Lucas Jones again after gay roles on General Hospital and the indie flick Eating Out
No thumbnail available

Transgender woman pushed on to New York subway tracks in suspected hate crime

NYPD have released images of a man that they wish to question in the Greenwich Village attack and are offering $2,500 reward for information
No thumbnail available

Actor taking over gay role on Days of Our Lives not intimidated by his predecessor

Guy Wilson on two-time Emmy winner Chandler Massey: 'He’s made my job easier, because he has established such an amazing character'
No thumbnail available

#Trailblazer: Tyson Tyler - 'Atlanta, Las Vegas, Los Angeles; I have such a blast going to the US'

London based model, dancer and adult entertainer Tyson Tyler tells us why Istanbul was his most random vacation and how he plans to take the US by storm
No thumbnail available

How Hawaii is handling gay divorces

A lesbian couple filing for divorce highlights the need for comprehensive changes in all states’ official proceedings once they legalize gay marriage