UPDATE: Malaysia: URGENT appeal for intervention to stay sentence of caning

The Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) international solidarity network is deeply concerned to learn that the Syariah High Court in the Malaysian state of Pahang Shariah Court has ordered that Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno be remanded at the Kajang women’s prison in the state of Selangor from Monday, 24 August. Madam Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, 32, has been sentenced to six strokes of the cane and fined RM5,000 (approximately US$ 1,400) after she pleaded guilty to consuming beer two years ago at a hotel in Pahang.
The Syariah High Court order was obtained following an application by Syariah deputy public prosecutor Saiful Idham Sahimi. The application was heard before Syariah High Court Judge Justice Datuk Abdul Rahman Yunos in chambers.

On July 20, Kartika had been ordered to be caned and fined RM5,000 for consuming alcohol at a hotel night club in Cherating.

She was arrested by a team from the state religious department at 1.20am on July 12, 2007.

Although Kartika paid the fine, she did not appeal against the whipping order.

The mother of two was charged under Section 136 of the Pahang Islamic and Malay Traditional Practices Enactment (Amendment) 1987.

Under this section, those found guilty of consuming alcohol can be fined up to RM5,000 or jailed for a maximum of three years, or both, and sentenced to six strokes of the rotan.

The sentence for consuming alcohol was made stiffer when the Islamic Religious Administration and Pahang Malay Tradition Enactment was amended in 1987.

The punishment is provided for under Section 125(4) of the Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment 2002, which spelled out how the caning should be carried out.

In Islamic law, the cane should not be thicker than the little finger on the hand and the cane cannot be lifted so high that the upper arm is away from the armpit.

19 August 2009

Source: The Star/ NST

For more background information: http://www.wluml.org/english/newsfulltxt.shtml?cmd[157]=x-157-565013

Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno was sentenced to six lashes and a fine of 5,000 ringgit ($1,400) for consuming alcohol. Shukarno, a 32-year-old model, pleaded guilty in the court in eastern Pahang state to a charge of drinking beer when Islamic authorities raided a hotel nightclub. Consuming alcohol is a religious offense in Malaysia only for Muslims, who make up nearly two-thirds of the population. Offenders are prosecuted in Shariah courts, which handle cases mainly related to family and moral issues for Muslims. Most offenders are fined, but the law also provides for a three-year prison term and caning. Shukarno was the only Muslim caught in the raid at the Pahang nightclub. Malaysian clubs and lounges typically serve alcohol but are not legally required to check if customers are Muslim before serving them, so the hotel nightclub operators were not charged with any offense.
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