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Amnesty urges Malaysia to quash caning sentence of lesbians

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Amnesty International has urged Malaysia to quash a caning sentence for a lesbian couple, calling the punishment cruel and unjust.

Two unidentified ethnic Malay women, aged 22 and 32, had pleaded guilty for attempting to have sexual intercourse and were sentenced to six strokes of a cane and fined by a Shariah court earlier this month.

The caning in northeast Terengganu state was due Tuesday but reportedly postponed to Sept. 3 due to technical reasons.

Amnesty says a delay is not enough and calls for the sentences to be “quashed immediately and unconditionally to reverse this injustice once and for all.”

It said Wednesday the court’s decision comes amid growing concern of a climate of fear and discrimination against people in Malaysia’s lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgendered community.