Stop persecuting Zunar, Suaram tells Putrajaya

Sevan-DoraisamyKUALA LUMPUR: Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) has called for all state-sanctioned harassment of cartoonist Zunar – Zulkiflee Anwar Haque — to be stopped immediately.

Zunar’s arrest and the confiscation of his cartoons and artworks over the weekend was intimidation, said Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy in a statement.

“The target is freedom of expression. It’s also to punish those who publicly express dissatisfaction with the government.”

Suaram strongly condemned the arrest of Zunar at a fund-raising event at the KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall yesterday.

At this juncture, said the NGO, it is clear the government is on a campaign against Zunar and freedom of expression.

It noted to date, Zunar was facing nine charges under the Sedition Act 1948.

The NGO noted the government had promised to abolish the Sedition Act 1948.

“We call for the immediate abolition of this repressive Act,” said Sevan. “It shackles the people.”

Elsewhere, he noted that Zunar had been attacked and assaulted by members of the ruling party, had his work confiscated or banned by the government, and he was repeatedly detained by the police.

The NGO reminded Putrajaya of its obligations on freedom of expression.

It referred to Article 10 of the Federal Constitution and Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.