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Terengganu Sharia High Court executes against the law

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The execution that took place at the Kuala Terengganu Sharia High Court is a travesty and a grave miscarriage of justice, says Justice for Sisters and Sisters in Islam.

The Kuala Terengganu Sharia High Court today executed six strokes of the cane against two women charged with “attempting to have sex” under Section 30 and 59(1) of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Takzir Terengganu).

The caning contravenes several legal provisions, including the Prison Act 1995 and Prison Regulations 2000.

The women were each sentenced to a fine of RM3,300 and six strokes of the cane each on 12 August by Sharia judge Kamalruazmi Ismail.

The Prison Act 1955 and the Prison Regulations 2000 stipulates that caning can only be carried out against prisoners. As the sentences of the two women did not include imprisonment, they were not considered prisoners as defined by the Prison Act and Prison Regulations. This, despite the fact that they were sentenced to caning. The Kuala Terengganu Sharia High Court and the Malaysian Prisons Department therefore may have acted against the law in its execution today.

Malaysia’s laws are inconsistent in relation to caning of women. Section 289 of the Criminal Procedure Code prohibits corporal punishment against female prisoners of any age. However, provisions under the Sharia law allows women to be caned. These inconsistencies create confusion in the jurisdiction of the Prisons Department, thus directly affecting the rights of women in Malaysia protected by Article 8(2) of the Federal Constitution against gender discrimination.

The role of the federal government is brought into question as the unlawful execution was carried out by the Prisons Department under the Ministry of Home Affairs. Questions are raised on why the execution was authorised and officers from the department appointed to carry out the sentence.

The execution that took place at the Kuala Terengganu Sharia High Court is a travesty and a grave miscarriage of justice.

Justice for Sisters
Sisters in Islam
3 September 2018

Definitions or prisoner

The Prison Act 1995 defines a prisoner as a person, whether convicted or not, under confinement in a prison and in relation to a convicted prisoner, includes a prisoner released on parole.

The Prison Regulations 2000 defines convicted prisoner”” as a person who is convicted by the court and has been sentenced to imprisonment.

Section 289 of the Criminal Procedure Code

No sentence of whipping shall be executed by instalments and none of the following persons shall be punishable with whipping

a. Female
b. Males sentenced to death
c. Males whom the court considers to be more than 50 years of of age, except males sentenced to whipping under section 376, 377C, 377CA, or 377E of the Penal Code

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