Above: A man is caned in Indonesia on March 4, 2019 for breaking Sharia law.
Malaysia sentenced five men on Thursday, November 7, to caning, jail, and fines for attempting gay sex, Reuters reports.
While such convictions are rare, those found guilty of homosexual acts in the country can face up to 14 years imprisonment, with or without corporal punishment, according to Equaldex. The country has a dual-court system, with both civil laws and Islamic criminal and family laws that applies to Muslims.
The Selangor Shariah High Court convicted the men for “intercourse against the order of nature,” and sentenced four of them to six months in jail, six strokes of the cane, and a fine of 4,800 ringgit, equivalent to $1,163 USD. The fifth man was sentenced to seven months in jail, six strokes of the cane, and a 4,900 ringgit fine ($1,188 USD), according to the Malay-language publication Harian Metro.
“The facts show that 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 judge, Mohamad Asri Mohamad Tahir, declared.
Numan Afifi, president of LGBTQ rights group Pelangi, called the sentence “outrageous” and warned it could create an environment of fear for the local LGBTQ population.
In addition to those charged, police arrested seven other men alongside of them when they raided an apartment in November of last year. Five of those remaining seven are set to be sentenced later this month, according to Numan.
In August of 2018, two women in Malaysia were caned for “attempting lesbian sex” in a car.