Social media star and cosmetics entrepreneur Nur Sajat Kamaruzzaman was detained by Thai immigration authorities earlier this month.
Following the arrest, the transwomen’ supporters have launched a petition “Save Nur Sajat” requesting Thai authorities to not deport her.
Transwomen Cross Dressing
According to Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS), Nur Sajat is investigated under Section 10 of the Sharia law in the Selangor state.
The 36-year-old was charged for cross-dressing at a Yasin recitation and solat hajat (prayer) event on 23 February, 2018.
They cited that Nur Sajat, real name Muhammad Sajjad Kamaruz Zaman, as a man had caused the religion of Islam to be ridiculed.
Furthermore, JAIS also published in a statement confirming other complaints lodged against her between 2019 and 2020.
Detained by Thai Authorities
The star escaped the country in March and was detained by Thai authorities on September 8th, ending the 8-month-long manhunt. She was found at a condominium apartment in Thailand.
Nur Sajat was later released on a USD2,000 (RM8,343) bail. She is required to report to Thai Immigration office every 14 days.
When she was arrested, Thai authorities found out that her Malaysian passport has been revoked and is no longer valid.
However, Nur Sajat has since applied for a refugee status with United Nations High Commission (UNHR). She is also seeking asylum in Australia.
‘Save Nur Sajat’ Petition
Thai supporters have launched a petition on Change.org titled “Protecting Malaysian transgender women #Save Nur Sajat” yesterday.
The petition stated that Nur Sajat will gain refugee status with UNHCR while on her way to Australia.
However, the Malaysian government’s extradition request for the accused to be prosecuted in Malaysia puts her at risk.
In addition, the “non-refoulement” principle for the Status of Refugee was cited as there is a possibility for threats to Nur Sajat’s life and freedom if she returns to Malaysia.
As a result, the petition requests that the Thai authorities to refrain with the arrest and deportation.
Cover Images via The Independent and Change.org
Proofreader: Sarah Yeoh