they dont like sodomy (but we do)

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was arrested again yesterday, under the Sodomy Act. The fresh allegation was made by a 23 year old party aid. The opposition Keadilan party said that Saiful Bahari, one of Anwar’s aides, had been arrested on Saturday and “forced” to make a statement saying Anwar had sodomised him. His wife, Wan Azizah Ismail, told reporters yesterday that it was a political conspiracy. “I am looking at this as a deliberate attempt to tarnish Anwar’s political future, to kill advancement of it as we have seen lately and I feel it’s the last stretch, that’s why they have to do these desperate measures,” she said.

On September 29, 1998 Anwar appeared in court and pleaded innocent to charges of corruption and sodomy. A photo of Anwar with black eye (which he gained from a beating, while handcuffed and blindfolded, by then Inspector General of Police Rahim Noor) and one hand raised became a symbol of the political opposition in many reformasiposters. On April 14, 1999, Anwar was sentenced to six years in prison for corruption and, on August 8, 2000, nine years in prison for sodomy. The sentences were to be served consecutively, and Anwar was given no credit for the six months he spent in jail during the trial. The following year, Anwar’s corruption conviction was upheld by Malaysia’s Court of Appeal. In July 2002, Anwar lost his final appeal against the corruption conviction in the Federal Court. On September 2, 2004, after serving is corruption sentence, a panel of three judges of the Federal Court (Malaysia’s highest court) overturned the sodomy conviction by 2 to 1, finding contradictions in the prosecution’s case.

Despite its fast-paced economy, the state is highly conservative. Malaysia does not take kindly to homosexual acts, and sodomy (even if consensual) carries a maximum jail term of 20 years.

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~ by k-rock and l-jive on July 16, 2008.

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