President Obama focused attention on the human rights of LGBT Malaysians during his just-ended Asia trip.
While in Malaysia, he met with trans activist Nisha Ayub, who seeks an end to the frequent arrests of trans women.
He also lent tacit support to Malaysian opposition politician Anwar Ibrahim, who is serving a five-year prison sentence after being convicted of sodomy.
U.S. officials meet jailed Malaysian opposition leader’s family
Senior members of the National Security Council on Saturday met with the family of a leading Malaysian opposition figure who is serving a 5-year prison sentence for sodomy. The meeting with former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s family took place in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.
The meeting coincided with President Obama’s visit to the Southeast Asian country.
Obama on Nov. 20 met with Nisha Ayub of Justice for Sisters, a group that advocates on behalf of transgender Malaysians, and other members of the country’s civil society. The president on the same day told reporters during a press conference with Prime Minister Najib Razak that he raised the country’s human rights record during their meeting.
“We talked about the importance of civil society and issues, not just in Malaysia but in the region in general, and how we can promote those values that will encourage continued development and opportunity and prosperity,” said Obama. “I very much appreciate this conversation. I think it was constructive.”
Obama on Sunday during a press conference before returning to the U.S. defended the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a controversial trade agreement that Malaysian LGBT rights advocates and labor groups in the U.S. and elsewhere have sharply criticized.
For more information, read the full article in the Washington Blade.
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- Video: Malaysian prison turned [Nisha Ayub] into a trans activist (76crimes.com)
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