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Malaysia's LGBT community under siege as government ignores abuse

Jail terms stoke fears of rollback on human rights promises

Both Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, pictured, and leader-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim have said that Malaysia cannot accept LGBT rights.    © Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia's LGBT community is on high alert after its members have received rare jail terms, raising fears of increased persecution by religious authorities as the government steps aside, unwilling to anger conservative Muslim voters.

Already a target of violent attacks, online abuse and discriminatory laws, the LGBT community fears further attacks after the recent conviction of five men on charges of attempting to engage in sex.

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