Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Suhakam wants Putrajaya to intervene in K'tan public whipping bill

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The Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) has called on the federal government to intervene in Kelantan's move to introduce public whipping for syariah offences.

Suhakam chairperson Razali Ismail said the federal government must ensure that "human rights are respected throughout the country".

Razali said caning was a "cruel, inhuman and degrading" punishment that violated prohibitions against torture in human rights treaties that Malaysia had signed.

"Caning should not be part of our criminal justice system as it has no rehabilitative potential," he said in a statement today.

Last week, the Kelantan state legislative assembly unanimously passed the Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment 2002 (Amendment 2017) Bill, which will, among others, allow for public whipping as a punishment.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said that the bill should be seen as only applying to Muslims in Kelantan.
Razali, however, said that religious laws applied in states must adhere to Malaysia's human rights obligations.

"States such as Kelantan cannot invoke provisions of national law to justify non-compliance with their obligations under international law," he said.

Suhakam has called on both the federal and state governments to review all criminal justice laws to ensure a repeal of any provisions which contravene international human rights laws.

~ Malaysiakini

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