KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 — The Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy today slammed the Shariah court’s caning sentence against five gay men convicted of unnatural sex.
In a statement issued today, Galen Centre’s Programme Officer Dorian Wilde reminded that caning is a form of torture as classified by the United Nations Convention Against Torture. “Besides the physical pain inflicted, the long-term consequences of judicial caning must also be considered.”
He also stated that studies found that victims of caning were at a higher risk of developing mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.
Dorian emphasised that the five men who had been charged were already facing intense public shaming due to the nature of the charges, and that caning would be an additional traumatic experience. He described it as the definition of cruel and unusual punishment.
Besides calling for the Selangor Syariah High Court to stay the implementation of the sentence, the Galen Centre has recommended a moratorium of judicial caning as a form of punishment in both the civil and syariah justice system.
It also found that medical practitioners should not be sanctioning or facilitating the practice of judicial caning and should come out strongly against such an unethical practice.