Kartika's Caning is Against the Constitution
21 August 2009
Women Candidacy Initiative (WCI) is outraged and questions the legality of the Court’s further imposition after a sentence has been meted out, of an additional 7- day jail sentence on Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarnor in the Kajang Prison which is due to commence this 24 August 2009.
The total and maximum sentences of RM5,000 fine, 6 lashes of the rotan and a 7-day imprisonment for alcohol drinking is extremely harsh. It is also contrary to general sentencing principles considering that Kartika is a first offender and there is no violence involved in this offence. She has expressed regret and that her action has not caused harm to anyone. The punishment meted out to Kartika is totally disproportionate to the offence. WCI also believes that it is against the spirit of Shariah to order such a harsh punishment to an offender who had repeatedly expressed remorse.
Furthermore, the whipping of women is disallowed by the Federal criminal law. WCI is doubtful about the power of the Kajang Prison to be a party to this whole process as the Kajang Prison is bound by Federal law.
WCI also wishes to reiterate that Violence in any form is a crime . Even canning met out by the State , is a form of violence , which we term as Corporal Punishment. Corporal Punishment , whether for men or women, citizens or migrants should be removed . The fact that such a sentence exists or is imposed is a deterioration of human rights standards applied by the State .It is clear from International Laws that that all forms of Corporal Punishment violates human rights and human dignity. It is cruel , inhumane and a degrading punishment .
WCI is against whipping as a form of punishment and urges the government and all political parties to conduct a review of such severe forms of punishments which violate human rights.
Whipping has failed as a retributory and deterrent sentence and that it is time for Malaysia to subscribe to Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights i.e. "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" and reject it altogether as a form of sentencing in our country
Pakatan Rakyat coalition parties i.e PKR, DAP and PAS in particular, that promises a just and fair government which supports human rights principles, should support for the repeal of severe forms of punishments such as whipping.
Women Candidacy Initiative