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Malaysia Government Targets LGBTQ Activist for Speaking Out Against Conversion Therapy

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(Credit: Thomas Ulrich via Pixabay)

Fifteen human-rights groups in Malaysia are defending a critic of conversion therapy from government harassment, according to Malay Mail.

A Twitter thread started by activist Nicole Fong, on a now-private account, included posters advocating awareness about LGBTQ conversion therapies. The thread referred to Religious Affairs Minister Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri’s recent statement that religious authorities would arrest those in the transgender community and provide them religious education to “return to the correct path.”

Department of Islamic Development director-general Datuk Paimuzi Yahya accused Fong of defaming the department in her tweets about its Mukhayyam program which targets Malaysia’s LGBTQ community. The department, popularly known by the acronym JAKIM, filed a police report against Fong’s controversial tweet last week.

The human-rights groups replied to JAKIM: “Writing about conversion therapy, state-funded conversion programmes, and experiences of LGBTIQ persons does not amount to restriction of anyone else’s religious belief. Meanwhile, by reporting her to the police based on a misinterpretation of her content, they have denied her right to speech.”

Born Perfect is the leading campaign to end conversion therapy. We are survivors, lawyers, and policy experts working together to protect LGBTQ+ people nationally and around the globe. Born Perfect is a program of National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

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