KUALA TERENGGANU: Rights group Justice for Sisters is concerned that caning has is quickly becoming more normalised in Terengganu.
This comes after the Terengganu Syariah High Court sentenced a 45-year-old divorcee to four strokes of the cane and six months in a rehabilitation centre on Thursday (Oct 10).
When contacted, group founder Thilaga Sulathireh said it is even more worrying that those being caned are mostly from lower economic backgrounds or marginalised communities.
"The role of the state is to address disparities in our society, using evidence and rights-based approach to ensure they are protected from harm, violence and discrimination.
"It is not the role of the state to inflict harm, injuries and pain," she said.
She is also concerned that the state government has turned a deaf ear to the recent outcry on caning in the state.
Since August, four women have been sentenced to caning under Syariah law in the state for same-sex relations and prostitution charges.
The first to be sentenced were two women aged 22 and 32 who were charged under Section 30 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Takzir) (Terengganu) Enactment 2001 for Musahaqah (sexual relations between women).
Their caning is the believed to be the first to be carried out in the state, and they were caned six times each in a courtroom at the Syariah High Court here.
A crowd of about 150 people, including state representatives, NGOs, members of legal professional bodies and the media witnessed the caning in the packed courtroom.
On Sept 28, the same court sentenced a 30-year-old single mother to six lashes and six months in prison for committing preparatory acts for prostitution under Section 25 of the same Enactment.
She has since applied to appeal for a lighter sentence through her lawyer.