Malaysian High Court rules against political cartoonist Zunar

Posted on August 3, 2012 | No Comments

A statement by Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar in response to the court ruling regarding his detention –  1 st August 2012

I am extremely disappointed with the Malaysian High Court’s ruling that my detention under the Sedition Act in September 2010 was according to the law.

On the 24th of September 2010, I was arrested and jailed for two days just a few hours before the launching of my new comic book, Cartoon-O-Phobia.

I then filed a suit to challenge the Malaysian government on the grounds that the arrest was made in bad faith, mala fide, and unlawful.

But on the 31st of July 2012, the Kuala Lumpur High Court had held that the detention was lawful, based on the grounds that the police officers had reasonable grounds to suspect that the book was seditious. In the ruling, the high court clearly encourages police to use the power to detain anyone solely based on mere suspicion. This will help the Malaysian government to use more criminal laws to stop me from producing more cartoons that expose the corruptions by the Malaysian government.

The arrest was part of the modus operandi by the government to stop me from producing political cartoons unfavorable to them.

Prior to that, they started by confiscating my books in bookstores, but I continued to draw. That prompted the authority to raid my office, raid the printers and threatening them.

When all these still failed to stop me, they banned six of my books on the grounds that the contents are detrimental to public order. Finally, the detained me as a last resort.

The court has denied my fundamental right as a political cartoonist which contradicts the Malaysian Constitution that guarantees the freedom of expression to its citizen.

– Zunar, Political Cartoonist

The recipient of “Courage in Editorial Cartoons 2011” conferred by the Cartoonist Rights Network International in Washington D.C



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