Two women were publicly caned by a Malaysian Shariah court on Monday for allegedly having sex, a punishment that drew international rebuke as both cruel and indicative of growing concerns about LGBT discrimination in the country.
The two unnamed women, ages 22 and 32, were arrested in April after Islamic enforcement officers spotted them in a car together in northeast Terengganu state, according to Agence France-Presse. Earlier this month, they pleaded guilty to charges of lesbian sex, and were sentenced to six strokes and a RM 3,300 (U.S.$800) fine in a verdict the judge called a lesson for society.
After a week-long delay due to “technical difficulties,” the whippings reportedly occurred Monday in front of over 100 onlookers at the Sharia High Court in the state capital.
Amnesty International called the sentence “a dreadful reminder of the depth of discrimination #LGBTI people face in the country and a sign that the new government condones the use of inhuman and degrading punishme..