Sisters in Islam (SIS) is outraged at the sentence handed to a 45-year-old widow who pleaded guilty to a charge of preparation for the act of prostitution in Kuala Terengganu.
The Terengganu Sharia High Court yesterday ordered the woman to undergo a six-month rehabilitation period at the Baitul Ehsan Women’s Protection Centre in Sabak Bernam, Selangor and four strokes of the rotan. Sharia judge Kamalruazmi Ismail, who delivered the judgment, ordered the caning be carried out at the Kajang Women’s Prison in Selangor.
We are alarmed at how deliberately the caning punishment was instructed by the Sharia High Court in Terengganu for execution in another state completely unrelated to the case. It is also worrying how the Prisons Department, which is bound to the Ministry of Home Affairs and to federal law, is enabling this act to happen upon women.
We point out also that all the cases that have involved caning sentences in Terengganu since August this year were imposed on women, specifically those from minority groups and in a state of poverty.
SIS is extremely worried that this reflects selective and discriminatory administration of ‘justice’, whereby women are systematically targeted and regarded as sources of ‘sin.’ This blatantly contradicts Mujahid Yusof Rawa’s direction to uphold the concept of rahmatan lil alamin (compassion for all) as strongly prescribed by the Holy Qur’an.
Furthermore, there is no indication that the men who are involved in these cases are even charged in these khalwat raids.
SIS reiterates its call for an immediate moratorium on all caning sentences as it is clear that caning, in whatever form, is a violation of human rights.