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Activists slam maltreatment of Malaysian transgender celebrity

Rights advocates claim religious authorities are taking an increasingly hardline stance against transwomen

UCA News reporter, Kuala Lumpur

UCA News reporter, Kuala Lumpur

Updated: January 13, 2021 07:09 AM GMT
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Activists slam maltreatment of Malaysian transgender celebrity

Nur Sajat Kamaruzzaman says she has been victimized. (Image: YouTube)

The maltreatment of a transgender social media personality at the hands of religious authorities in Malaysia has highlighted once again the routine abuse and humiliation that transgender people are forced to endure in the Muslim-majority country, rights activists say.

Nur Sajat Kamaruzzaman, a 36-year-old transgender woman who is a well-known social media influencer in Malaysia, posted a video of herself in tears to social media on Jan. 11, saying that she had been ill-treated in custody by religious police officers after she was summoned to hear a charge at a police station in the state of Selangor that she had “insulted Islam.”

Nur Sajat, who said she was handcuffed during her ordeal, was told audibly by one officer in the 40-minute clip, which she had recorded secretly and later posted to her Instagram account, that during a visit three years ago to a religious school where the transwoman and her assistants distributed aid she was dressed as a woman despite being a man.

By dressing as a woman, Nur Sajat violated Islamic precepts, according to the country’s conservative Islamic authorities.

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