In Summary
  • Gay rights activist Numan Afifi, who attended the court hearing, said the sentences would create a "culture of fear", adding: "It's a gross injustice and terrible for our country".
  • Malaysia operates a dual-track legal system, with Islamic courts handling some matters for Muslim citizens.
  • Sodomy is a crime under Malaysia's regular criminal code as well as under Islamic law.

Kuala Lumpur

Five Malaysian men were sentenced to jail and canings Thursday by an Islamic court for attempting to have gay sex, reports and an activist said.

There have been growing concerns in the Muslim-majority country about the worsening climate for the homosexual community, and the verdicts follow the caning last year of two women for lesbian sex.

An Islamic court in Selangor state, outside Kuala Lumpur, sentenced four of the men to six months in jail and six strokes of the cane as well as fines of 4,800 ringgit ($1,100), newspaper Harian Metro reported.

JAIL TIME

Another man was sentenced to seven months jail, six strokes of the cane and a 4,900 ringgit fine, the paper said.

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