Malaysian women say caning "good" for them

Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:19am EST
 
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By David Chance

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Three Malaysians who became the first women to be caned under the country's Islamic laws said they "deserved" their punishment and that it would help stem sex outside marriage.

The three women were caned for having sex out of wedlock in a move that has angered human rights activists and some lawyers who say the punishments are illegal in this mainly Muslim country that runs parallel civil and Islamic justice systems.

"I deeply regret my actions as I should have married before having sex," the New Straits Times newspaper quoted one of the women who it said was aged 17, as saying in its Friday edition.

The newspaper did not reveal the womens' real names and a picture showed the three clad in traditional Malaysian dress and headscarves seated before reporters.

The 17-year old said that she had become pregnant and gone into labor while at school, losing the baby, and then had turned herself in to the authorities last December.

A second woman said she had to support her family after her father left home and had a three-year-old daughter out of wedlock. She said that she too turned herself in due to feelings of guilt.

All three women were caned on February 9 and the punishments were announced by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein on Wednesday.

Hishammuddin said they were "carried out perfectly."   Continued...

 
<p>Journalists (facing camera) interview three women who were caned for having sex out of wedlock, at a prison in Kajang outside Kuala Lumpur February 18, 2010. Three Malaysians who became the first women to be caned under the country's Islamic laws said they "deserved" their punishment and that it would help stem sex outside marriage. Photo taken February 18, 2010. REUTERS/The New Straits Times Press/Mokhsin Abidin</p>