Malaysia Canes Women, Some for Adultery

In spite of widespread complaints about the practice, Malaysian authorities have begun to use caning as a sentence for women, and recently doled out the punishment to three Muslim women convicted of adultery. A wave of protest arose over a caning sentence for a woman caught drinking, and Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein cited the other three women in his defense: "People are saying that no woman has been caned before... today I am announcing that we have already done it," he said, claiming that the caning victims had subsequently "repented." Caning sentences issued by Islamic courts directly contradict Malaysian federal law, which bars women from receiving the punishment. Amnesty International and advocacy group Sisters in Islam have spoken out against the practice, calling it an example of "further discrimination against Muslim women in Malaysia" and a violation of the nation's constitution.