Malaysia: Transgender targeted as religious authorities' influence grows, LGBTI community says

Members of Malaysia's LGBTI community are speaking out about being violently attacked in the moderate Muslim nation, saying the abuse has become common as religious authorities push for more power.

"We have cases of transgender [people] that have been killed," said Mitch, a transgender man. "For us, we call it a hate crime. For the police they don't call it that, because for them these people are not recognised."

The rights of LGBTI people are largely unrecognised in Malaysia. Homosexuality as well as oral sex, sodomy and cross-dressing are illegal in both the criminal code and sharia law. Representatives of Malaysia's LGBTI community said the laws were largely unenforced in the past, but that had changed in recent years. Read More