International law prohibits caning

19 Jul 2017 / 18:59 H.

    THE Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) refers to the passing of the amendments to the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment 2002 by the Kelantan State Legislative Assembly that will allow for among others, public caning.
    In the context of our mandate, Suhakam is obliged to take a public position that it is against any form of punishment where the position of the law is discriminatory beyond what is already the situation.
    Suhakam reiterates that everyone must be treated equally under all laws as equality is a basic aspect of a just and fair society.
    Suhakam has taken the position that caning is a form of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and has made its position known that caning should not be part of our criminal justice system as it has no rehabilitative potential.
    Caning in any setting violates the absolute prohibition of torture under international law and is absolutely prohibited by the international human rights treaties that Malaysia has acceded to.
    Suhakam also advises that religious laws applied by states must be in accordance with the country's international human rights obligations, and states such as Kelantan cannot invoke provisions of national law to justify non-compliance with their obligations under international law.
    Suhakam calls on both the state and federal governments to review all such laws to ensure repeal of any provision that contravenes international human rights law and universally accepted standards.
    The federal government must also ensure that human rights are respected throughout the country regardless of the internal governance of each state.
    Tan Sri Razali Ismail
    Human Rights Commission of Malaysia

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