Malaysia: Court convicts nine transgender women

An Islamic court in Malaysia has convicted 9 transgender women of violating laws that prohibit “a male person posing as a woman,” Human Rights Watch reported. All women were fined and two were handed jail sentences. The nine women, locally known as mak nyah, were attending a birthday party at a hotel when officials from Kelantan’s Islamic Affairs Department raided the place and arrested them. 

In 2014, a Malaysian appeals court struck down the law against cross-dressing in the state of Negeri Sembilan, with the presiding judge calling it “degrading, oppressive and inhumane.” Enforcement of the law has since been suspended in the state, but the state government has appealed the decision to a federal court. Meanwhile, the law against cross-dressing remains in place across the rest of Malaysia’s 13 states and its federal territories.  Read More