News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Malaysian Government Abuse of Power - AI

PUBLIC STATEMENT
Malaysia

Opposition leaders charged with sedition - selective prosecutions reflect politically-motivated misuse of restrictive laws

14 JANUARY, Amnesty International today expressed grave concern at the Malaysian Government's renewed use of restrictive laws, including the Sedition Act and the Official Secrets Act (OSA), to charge journalists, publishers and leading members of opposition parties, including former deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim's defence lawyer, Karpal Singh.

"Hopes that divisions within Malaysian society might begin to be reconciled through a renewed respect for the right of all citizens to peacefully express dissenting views have been dashed - the Malaysian authorities are once again resorting to selective prosecutions to curb and deter freedom of expression."

Today, opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) deputy chairman Karpal Singh and Keadilan (KDN - National Justice Party) vice-president Marina Yusoff pleaded not guilty to charges of sedition, while former Anwar Ibrahim aide Mohamad Ezam Noor denied charges under the OSA.

Yesterday, Zulkifli Sulong, editor of the opposition Parti Islamic SeMalaysia (PAS) newspaper 'Harakah', and its publisher, Chia Lim Thye, also denied charges of publishing an allegedly seditious article.

Amnesty International has long believed that the continued existence of an array of restrictive laws in Malaysia, many unable to be challenged in court, pose a grave threat to fundamental rights of freedom of expression, association and assembly.

The organisation fears that the safeguards designed to prevent the authorities from using such laws to initiate selective prosecutions for political purposes have been fundamentally weakened.

The organisation is concerned that, under the current broadly-defined terms of the Sedition Act, both government and opposition figures have made statements in the course of public and electoral debate which can be interpreted as potentially seditious. However, only opposition members have now been charged.

"Charging political leaders and journalists with sedition threatens to strike at the heart of free speech in a democratic society. Charging lawyers with sedition for statements made in court in defence of their clients threatens the rights of fair trial. When such prosecutions appear to fall solely on opposition figures, public confidence in the rule of law and administration of justice risks being seriously undermined,"Amnesty International said.

Amnesty International is also concerned that the courts may not provide an adequate defence of the fundamental right of freedom of expression enshrined in the Malaysian Constitution and in international human rights law. In 1998 Lim Guan Eng, a DAP parliamentarian charged with sedition, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. A prisoner of conscience, he was released in August 1999.

Source: Amnesty International, International Secretariat, 1 Easton Street, WC1X 8DJ, London, United Kingdom

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Nō Tāu Manawa

Vaughan Rapatahana responds to Fale Aitu | Spirit House by Tusiata Avi: "fa’afetai Tusiata, fa’afetai, / you’ve swerved & served us a masterclass corpus / through graft / of tears & fears..." More>>

9 Golds - 21 Medals: NZ Team Celebrates As Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Close

The entire New Zealand Paralympic Team, led by kiwi sprinter and double gold medallist Liam Malone as flag bearer, are on the bus to the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for the Closing Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. There, they will celebrate the fantastic successes of the past 10 days. More>>

ALSO:

New Zealand Improv Festival: The Festival Of Moments To Return To The Capital

The eighth incarnation of the New Zealand Improv Festival comes to BATS Theatre this 4-8 October , with a stellar line-up of spontaneous theatre and instant comedy performed and directed by top improvisors from around New Zealand and the world. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news