End Government-Backed Execution and Oppression of LGBTQ+ Populations

Target: Nazhat Shameem, President of the United Nations Human Rights Council

Goal: Ban Malaysia from global human rights council until protections are ensured for targeted LGBTQ+ citizens.

Malaysia is currently lobbying for a spot on the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. While country leaders make this show of standing for fundamental freedoms, they continue their wholesale attacks on citizens in the LGBTQ+ community. The most recent outrage began when a government task force suggested yet another law aimed at oppressing and marginalizing gay Malaysians. This law, if enacted, would subject social media users who “promote” the LGBTQ+ “lifestyle” to criminal condemnation. Additional proposals would impose even stricter legal penalties on individuals who participate in consensual homosexual acts. These latest forms of government control represent an additional divisive step backward for a nation with an already-troubling history of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

To this day, the country retains its ban on acts of sodomy. Individuals found guilty could face large fines, caning, or prison sentences up to two decades. Recent instances have involved the conviction of five men for “attempting gay sex,” the caning of two women found together in a car, the beating of a transgender woman, and the government praising of an annual tally of 7,000 arrests of LGBTQ+ Malaysians.

Members of the LGBTQ+ community are also barred from appearing in media or from having their lives depicted in popular entertainment. Since Malaysia also operates under a dual legal system where Islamic Sharia law can be enacted, Muslims tried in special courts can endure even worse atrocities. These punishments include torture and executions.

Sign the petition below to urge the United Nations to make clear to this country’s leaders that LGBTQ+ rights are human rights.


Dear Ms. Shameem,

The leaders of Malaysia present a public face of understanding how human rights and the basic tenets of Islam are entwined. Legislation and the Constitution itself speaks of maintaining human liberty. In 2012, a human rights declaration was signed by the prime minister.

Time and again, however, prime ministers and other government officials make a mockery of these proclamations. They have instituted broad-scale restrictions on freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press. Gender-based violence and violence against children is too often ignored, particularly in regions beholden to Sharia law. To so many, the entire Sharia system is incompatible with human rights and with Islam itself. The harsh form of law has long caused great strife, and its man-made penalties modeled for a long-bygone era have exerted a toxic influence in Malaysia and beyond its borders.

As a result, behavior that would be considered a minor violation or even socially acceptable in other parts of the world receives the most stringent retribution under Sharia law. For individuals who engage in sodomy or are non-gender-conforming, the advisable punishment is often death. Only two Malaysian states do not currently operate under this system. LGBTQ+ citizens as a whole are subject to horrendous and government-sanctioned abuses across the country, from criminalization to canings to public humiliation and, in the worst cases, execution.

Please make very clear to Malaysian leaders that these atrocities have no place on the United Nations Human Rights Council. Most importantly, encourage an essential shift in policy within the country to value all human life.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Lisa @ Pexels

One Comment

  1. Not a chance.

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