KUALA LUMPUR, October 20 — Transgender entrepreneur Nur Sajat Kamaruzzaman has alleged that she was touched on her breasts and private parts while being arrested by Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) officers in January.
US-based news organisation The New York Times (NYT) reported today a detailed account of Nur Sajat’s experience in which she alleged at least three officers kicked, pinned her down and fondled her during the arrest.
Nur Sajat said the incident was witnessed by her mother who then challenged one of the officers about the piety of such treatment.
The officer retorted that it was acceptable to touch Nur Sajat in the two areas as she was “a man”, she alleged.
“They think it is justified to touch my private parts and my breasts because they perceive me as a male person.
“They didn’t treat me with any compassion or humanity,” Nur Sajat was quoted as saying.
NYT reported that the alleged assault happened the same day she was charged in a shariah court and that she was placed overnight in a male detention facility.
On January 13, Jais said that it had summoned its enforcers to explain the incident after Nur Sajat lodged a police report alleging violent treatment during the arrest.
At the time, it was not publicly alleged by Nur Sajat that she was sexually assaulted and the matter was also not mentioned by Jais or the police.
Nur Sajat told the NYT that no further action has been taken regarding the Jais officers after their statement was taken. It also reported that Jais has refused to comment.
Police here had launched a hunt for the entrepreneur after she missed a shariah court hearing in February.
Last month, it was reported that she had been in Bangkok, Thailand, where she was briefly arrested by Immigration authorities before being released on bail.
On October 18, Nur Sajat posted a video on Instagram saying she was already in Australia where she has since received political asylum.
Nur Sajat is being investigated in Malaysia under Section 10 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Selangor) Enactment 1995, after several complaints were made against her in 2018 and 2020.
Section 10 refers to the Shariah offence of insulting Islam or causing Islam to be insulted either by mocking or blaspheming the faith and its associated practices and rituals either in a written, pictorial or photographic form.
It carries the penalty of fine not more than RM5,000, no more than three years’ imprisonment, or both.