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Five Malaysian Men Whipped, Imprisoned For 'Attempting' Gay Sex

Five Malaysian Men Sentenced to Jail, Caning For ‘Attempting’ Gay Sex

Five Malaysian men have been sentenced to four months in jail after they were convicted of “attempting” gay sex.

The sentence was handed down Thursday in the Selangor Shariah High Court, which is located just outside the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. As Reuters was the first to report, four of the accused were sentenced to six months’ jail time for “attempting intercourse against the order of nature.” The sentence includes six strokes of the cane and a fine of 4,800 ringgit, which is equivalent to $1,163 in the United States.

A fifth man will receive the same number of canings but a steeper sentence overall. He will serve seven months in prison and pay an addition 100 ringgit (or $24) for the same alleged crime, although it’s unclear why his penalty was more severe.

According to local media, the five men were arrested during a November 2018 raid, discovered at an apartment with seven other individuals. Although the specifics of the arrest were not cited, Judge Mohamad Asri Mohamad Tahir claimed there was an “attempt to carry out intercourse outside of the order of nature and that it was not in the early stages of preparation.”

The case is extremely similar to an incident from September 2018 in which two women in the coastal state of Terengganu were convicted of “attempting” lesbian sex and sentenced to caning. They were reportedly whipped six times.

Homosexuality is currently illegal in Malaysia, where same-sex intercourse is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Although the sodomy laws — which date back to the colonial era — are rarely enforced, LGBTQ+ Muslims are subject to additional penalties under the country’s two-track legal system. Malay Muslims make up 60 percent of Malaysia’s population of 32 million.

LGBTQ+ advocates have condemned this week’s sentencing, calling the decision “outrageous.”

Numan Afifi, president of the advocacy group Pelangi Campaign, was present in the courtroom as the sentence was handed down. In a brief statement to Out, he referred to the trial as “a gross injustice to the LGBTQ+ community.”

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