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Malaysia's Anwar Pleads Not Guilty to Sodomy Charges

Thailand Bans Transvestite Film

By Rex Wockner
International News Report

Malaysia: Anwar Pleads Not Guilty to Sodomy Charges

Deposed Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim pleaded not guilty September 29 to engaging in homosexual sodomy and committing a host of other crimes he is charged with. malaysia1.gif - 4.99 K Anwar Ibrahim

Anwar, removed from office September 2, allegedly sodomized his speechwriter and his adopted brother, both of whom have been sentenced to six months in prison for committing an "act of gross indecency."

Anwar has denied all the charges and said he was framed by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad who felt threatened by Anwar's popularity.

Anwar's arrest and detention led to several days of street riots in Kuala Lumpur and calls for Mahathir's resignation.

During his court appearance, Anwar displayed severe injuries he said resulted from police beatings.

Thailand Bans Transvestite Film

bugisstreet.jpg - 46.51 KThai police banned a Singaporean film about transvestites from Bangkok's first international film festival September 18.

Officials said Bugis Street, which looks at the drag queens who populated Singapore's red-light district in 1960, is pornographic.

"It's ridiculous that Thailand has one of the freest presses in Asia but Thai cinema is the most strictly censored in the world," director/screenwriter Ing Kanjanavanit commented to the Bangkok Post.

Film critic Somsak Wongrathpanya added, "We have a censorship law that was written in 1930 and this law has not been changed to make it suitable for the situation now."

The "Pussy Palace" lesbian night at the Club Toronto gay bathhouse (Wockner International News #231) was a one-time event and is not expected to be a recurring offering, reports Eleanor Brown, news editor at Xtra!

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