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Gender Recognition Would Help Address Rights Violations

“I have never had official employment,” Aisha (not her real name), a Malaysian trans woman who does sex work, told Human Rights Watch and Justice for Sisters in 2019. “I tried. I applied for a job selling perfume, but the employer said they would only…
Transgender people in Malaysia face discrimination and abuses by government officials and agents, including public sector medical staff, teachers and local government officials. © 2014 Javad Tizmaghz Photography by Human Rights Watch
News

Discriminatory Federal, State Laws and Policies Remain in Place

Malaysia’s Federal Court on February 25 ruled that a state law banning consensual same-sex conduct was unconstitutional. While the ruling leaves intact a federal statute criminalizing same-sex relations, it does bring relief to those who have faced…
LGBT Rainbow Flag
News

Ban Caning, Decriminalize Homosexual Acts

A Malaysian sharia court today postponed the scheduled caning of two women, charged with engaging in lesbian sex acts, until September 3, 2018 due to “technical issues.” The Terengganu Sharia court had convicted the women to six strokes…
Activists hold a National Wear V-neck Day gathering in response to seminars led by the Malaysian government on “spotting gay symptoms,” in Kuala Lumpur, September 30, 2012.
News

Ban Marriage for Anyone under 18

When the news broke last week that a 41-year-old man from Kelantan had married an 11-year-old girl, alarm bells went off in Malaysia’s newly elected government as well as among nongovernmental groups. The Kelantan state police started …
Jina, a 22-year-old transgender woman, sports a tattoo of a butterfly—a transgender symbol signifying transformation.
News

Authorities Should Investigate the Killing, Prosecute Perpetrators

At about 3:30 a.m. on Thursday, a 27-year-old transgender woman, Sameera Krishnan, was brutally murdered in Kuantan city, Malaysia. Krishnan who worked in a florist shop, was attacked with a knife and received slash wounds to her hands, arm, head,…
Photo of Sameera Krishnan.
News

2015 Recipient of the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism

Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others. Human Rights Watch collaborates with these courageous activists to create a world in which people…
Nisha Ayub
News
There is much to be skeptical of in Burma’s plan for nationwide elections in October. But today one small, yet important, first step toward making Burma a genuine rights-respecting democracy took place. As part of a national process to update voter lists…
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“Islam is evil” is just one of many anti-Muslim slurs uttered by retired Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin, executive vice-president of the Washington-based Family Research Council (FRC) and former undersecretary of defense for intelligence under US…
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Serafina (not her real name) led me up the staircase – her thick, sleek ponytail swinging back and forth – to an apartment in Seremban, Malaysia, that smelled of nail polish, green tea, and cigarettes. “I love myself,” she told me, perched on the arm of…