The Joint Action Group on Gender Equality (JAG) is appalled and disgusted to learn that indecent photos and videos of a Malay school girl and boy allegedly from Kelantan are currently being circulated via social media.
JAG strongly objects to the way the school children were raided and made to display themselves in the nude while photos and videos were taken without their consent. This barbaric form of shaming is not only a form of violence against the two underage children but also a gross violation of their privacy.
While non-consensual dissemination of such photos and videos have been so far carried out by individual abusers, to see it be committed by an organised group reflects a serious and worrying act of abuse and violence which has no place in our society today.
The action of this group, in fact, is a potential offence under the Penal Code section 354 where outrage of modesty is concerned, as well as the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) sections 233 (improper use of facilities or network services) and 211 (prohibition on the provision of offensive content).
These actions also contravene with the rights of the two children as protected by Article 16 the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), which Malaysia is a signatory to and has ratified.
There can be no acceptable justification for any individual or group to resort to this method of public shaming.
The practice of moral policing and unannounced raids goes against injunctions laid out in various verses in the Qur’an, such as “do not pry into others secrets” (Surah Al-Hujurat 49:12); “Do not enter other houses except yours without first asking permission and saluting the inmates… If you are asked to go away, turn back. That is proper for you” (Surah An-Nur 24:27, 28); and “when you judge among the people, do so equitably” (Surah An-Nisa 4:58). A hadith of the Prophet (saw) in Sunan al-Tirmidhi also states “Do not harm Muslims, and do not revile them, nor pursue their imperfections…”
We, therefore, call for all those who are responsible for carrying out these operations to be immediately investigated and be reprimanded in accordance with the law.
To allow this act of humiliation in our society simply feeds into the sickness of these parties to think that what they are doing is acceptable. Institutional practices need to be seriously reviewed and clear human rights standards need to be put in place to prevent future abuse and violation.
We also call for the children to be accorded due protection and advised accordingly as per their rights.
We advise the public to refrain from forwarding these photos and videos, as every act of circulating these materials would be an offence under section 8 of the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 for distributing child pornography.
More importantly, the public needs to act in a way that takes on a higher moral ground by demonstrating a principled way forward and stop this kind of abuse from continuing. This can be done by reporting and deleting these materials from all social media.
This statement is endorsed by the following JAG organisations:
- All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
- Association of Women Lawyers (AWL)
- Justice for Sisters
- Perak Women for Women (PWW)
- Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
- Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor (PSWS)
- Sabah Women’s Action Group (SAWO)
- Sisters in Islam (SIS)
- Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)
- Women’s Centre for Change Penang (WCC)
Also supported by:
- Kelab Warisan Wibawa (WIBAWA Women)
- Johor Women’s League (JEWEL)
5 June 2018