After being taken into custody and transported to a prison for her punishment today, Kartika was prepared to endure the caning. Unexpectedly the Islamic Sharia court granted her a reprieve until the holy month of Ramadan is over, throwing her case into confusion. Still, officials maintain that the delayed sentence stands.
So why was she sentenced to such a punishment in the first place? Malaysia operates under two legal systems, which includes Sharia courts that can try Muslims for moral or religious offenses. Although prosecution is rare, Muslims like Kartika can be jailed for up to three years or given six strokes of a cane for drinking alcohol.
While she was spared the caning this week, Kartika is not happy about being in legal limbo and her father says: "My daughter wants the sentence to be done. I'm afraid that people will make fun of the religion."