World

Malaysia police raid Halloween LGBT party for violating laws on cross-dressing

A large Halloween party in Kuala Lumpur which was attended by members of the LGBT community was reportedly raided by police in Malaysia, who then arrested 20 partygoers for reportedly inciting vice and cross-dressing, activists claimed on Sunday.

The raid was described as “traumatizing and harrowing” by activist Numan Afifi, who was amongst the 20 arrested at the event, according to the Bangkok Post.

“About 40 religious officers backed by the police came into the venue with some 1,000 participants, and they stopped the music and dance,” Afifi told The Associated Press.

Afifi said that police segregated those arrested into two groups, Muslims and those of a different faith.

The 20 Muslims were allegedly taken to the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department where “our identity details were recorded,” Afifi said.

“Some were alleged to have committed offences under cross-dressing while others, including me, for encouraging vice,” Afifi said.

All of those arrested were released but must return to the police station next week for further questioning, the Post reported.

Malaysia operates under Sharia law due to the country’s high Muslim population.

Human rights groups have been vocal against Malaysia’s police and government for attempting to promote programs which will “cure” LGBT people.

“These programs jeopardize the equality, dignity, and rights of those who attend them, but also send a dangerous message to the wider public that LGBT people can and should change their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression,” Human Rights Watch wrote back in August.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: TRIBUNE.NET.PH

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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