By GayNZ.com

malaysia_flag_by_adydesign-d3bgkueMalaysia: Sixteen transgender women who have been arrested in Malaysia face being placed in a men’s prison, where their heads will be shaved and they will have no access to treatment.

They were taken into custody when religious authorities raided a Malay wedding in Bahau, Jempol on Sunday, accusing 17 women of violating Sharia law.

Gay Star News reports the women were pleaded guilty to “cross-dressing,” and have been fined and jailed for at least seven days.

If they fail to pay the fine of 950 Malaysian ringgits (US$295), then they will be jailed for six months.

One of them escaped jail, as she was under the age of 18, she will be ‘counseled to cure the condition.’

Transgender rights group Justice For Sisters says because none of them have never been arrested under the law before, they panicked and pleaded guilty.

“As their identification card says male, they will be sentenced to a male prison, and treated as a male person – their heads will be shaved, no hormone treatment and high risk of violence,” spokesperson for the group says.

GayAsiaNews.com adds:

LGBT people face particular persecution, with officials banning group events or using offensive and false allegations to undermine their activities.

Cross-dressing is not technically a crime but , transgender men and women are often been arrested by police under the civil laws governing “public indecency.” If they are Muslim, they can be further charged by religious officers under Sharia Laws for “impersonating” women.

The government’s attitude towards the LGBT community is shaped by Islam, the official religion in Malaysia. Muslims who make up over 60 percent of Malaysia’s of 29 million people.

The country retains “Section 377A” a British colonial-era law banning “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” and outlaws same-sex relations and can be jailed for up to 20 years, caned or fined.

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