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Malaysian Sharia Law against ‘Cross Dressing’ Found Unconstitutional
In response to Malaysia’s Court of Appeals ruling that the Sharia law against “cross dressing” in the state of Negeri Sembilan is unconstitutional, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“This is a victory for transgender people and LGBTI communities in Malaysia, because the “cross dressing” ban has been a threat to the security and fundamental rights of all transgender Malaysians,” said Chloe Schwenke, vice president for global programs at Freedom House. “Malaysia is one of the few countries in the world that specifically criminalize transgender people. The “cross dressing” ban in Negeri Sembilan and other states has enabled state, local and religious authorities to commit serious human rights violations against transgender people, including arbitrary arrest and detention, and physical and sexual assault. The court has upheld the fundamental rights that are guaranteed to all Malaysians under the country’s Constitution, and recognizes the human rights claim of transgender people to live with dignity in their self-determined identity. Freedom House commends the Malaysian LGBTI activists and their allies for their work and their achievement.”
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.