PETALING JAYA: Women’s rights groups want an immediate halt on all caning punishments in the country.
Joint Action Group (JAG) said the government needed to strongly condemn all caning punishments pending Malaysia’s ratification of six United Nations treaties regarding human rights.
“On July 2, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah pledged for the government to sign six more international human rights conventions and to achieve the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
“On Aug 21, Suhakam echoed this call for more treaties for be ratified by Malaysia and these treaties include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment,” said JAG in a statement yesterday.
JAG said that stopping all caning punishments now would also show the government’s seriousness in ratifying the treaties.
“Whipping as a form of punishment violates international human rights principles which regard whipping and other forms of corporal punishment as cruel, inhumane and degrading,” said JAG
“Moreover, research shows whipping is not an effective deterrent, even for violent and sexual crimes.”
The group also criticised recent cases in which members of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community were sentenced to whipping and caning punishments, and called for the government to stop the penalty from being carried out.
“To sanction cruelty and torture towards members of the LGBT community who already experience all forms of violence and discrimination will only serve to incite more violence and hatred towards them.
“JAG urges the government to put an immediate halt to the caning of the two women in Terengganu and to rise above the race and religious differences and curb all forms of hate provocations and crimes in our community, especially towards vulnerable minority groups.
“To allow the caning to proceed will reflect poorly on Malaysia’s sincerity to ratify the treaties,” it added.
JAG is made up of the Association of Women Lawyers, All Women’s Action Society (Awam), Justice for Sisters, Perak Women for Women, Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor, Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor, Sisters in Islam, Tenaganita, Women’s Aid Organisation, and Women’s Centre for Change.