One week in prison, Shariah Court to decide on stay appeal for five men accused of gay sex

The five men sentenced to jail, fined and caning for attempted gay sex will know if their appeal for a stay of execution will be granted by the Shariah High Court tomorrow morning. — Reuters pic
The five men sentenced to jail, fined and caning for attempted gay sex will know if their appeal for a stay of execution will be granted by the Shariah High Court tomorrow morning. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 — The five men sentenced to jail, fined and caning for attempted gay sex will know if their appeal for a stay of execution will be granted by the Shariah High Court tomorrow morning.

The men have been in holding in Kajang prison since last Friday and were finally able to get their affidavits signed and presented before a Shariah Court Judge this evening.

Four of the men were sentenced to six months’ jail, six strokes of the cane, and a RM4,800 fine for “attempting intercourse against the order of nature while a fifth man was sentenced to seven months’ jail, six strokes of the cane and a RM4,900 fine for the same offence.

“The judge gave us 24 hours to put in a reply in writing and we will do so by tomorrow morning,” the men’s lawyer Nurul Ain Kamaruddin told Malay Mail.

“The judge was aware these men have been in prison for seven days and said a decision will be made tomorrow at 10am.”

Islamic enforcement officers detained the five accused with seven other men during a November 2018 raid on a two-storey apartment and were reportedly convicted of attempting to have intercourse against the order of nature, a crime under Islamic laws.

Gay rights activist Numan Afifi, who attended the hearing today, told Malay Mail they are hoping to be granted a stay as they are planning to appeal against the Court’s decision.

“If tomorrow we’re granted a stay, then the punishment will be postponed pending an appeal.

“We are also exploring whether we can launch a constitutional challenge but it’s not been decided, we’re just exploring these options.

“We’ll make the decision this week and brief the press and the civil societies then as well.”

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