Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) strongly condemns the arrest of Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, better known as Zunar at his fundraising event at the KL and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on 18 December 2016.
Zunar’s arrest and the confiscation of his cartoon and artwork last weekend can only be described as an act of intimidation targeted at silencing freedom of expression and punishing those who publicly express their dissent and dissatisfaction with the current state of governance.
At this juncture, it is clear that the Malaysian government through its agents are on a campaign of intimidation against Zunar and freedom of expression.
As of December 2016, Zunar has been subjected to nine charges under the Sedition Act 1948; attacked and assaulted by members of the ruling party; had his work confiscated and banned by the Malaysian government; and repeatedly arrested and detained by the police.
Suaram would like to remind the Malaysian government and all its agents of the state’s obligation to protect the right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution and Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to call for all state-sanctioned harassment against Zunar to be stopped immediately.
Suaram would also like to remind the Malaysian government of its promise to abolish the Sedition Act 1948 and to call for the immediate abolishment of this repressive act that continues to shackle the voice of the Malaysian people.
Sevan Doraisamy is executive director of Suaram.