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Police raid Malaysian cartoonist's office, confiscate books

In this 25 June 2010 photo in Kuala Lumpur, Zunar holds a copy of the comic book that was then banned by the Malaysian Home Ministry
In this 25 June 2010 photo in Kuala Lumpur, Zunar holds a copy of the comic book that was then banned by the Malaysian Home Ministry

Ap/Lai Seng Sin

This statement was originally published on on 30 January 2015.

Malaysian cartoonist Zunar, on a speaking tour in England, got word in the early hours of Wednesday, January 28, 2015, that his office in Kuala Lumpur was being raided by police. The police questioned Zunar's staff and confiscated 155 copies of two of the cartoonist's books - Pirates of the Carry Bn and Conspiracy to Imprison Anwar.

Zunar, whose given name is Zukiflee Anwar Haque, tweeted that the police action was made under the Printing Presses and Publication Act and the Sedition Act. The Malaysian government has been weighing charges against Zunar under the Acts since November, 2014 - this despite a unanimous Court of Appeal decision a month earlier that the government had "acted unreasonably and irrationally" in banning and confiscating Zunar's books in 2010.

Reacting to the police action, Zunar told The Malaysian Digest: "This is really a government of the cartoon, for the cartoon and by the cartoon . . . The government condemned Charlie Hebdo's attackers but now they are 'attacking' me."

Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch, Asia Division, writes: "It's shocking and outrageous that the Malaysia government crackdown on freedom of expression has now resulted in an office raid of the prominent cartoonist Zunar and seizure of his books. There is absolutely no justification for this act of censorship by police raid, and Zunar's books should be returned to him and any consideration of charges against him immediately dropped."

"Malaysia's sedition act inspired onslaught raises fundamental questions about whether the government is seeking to cement its power through police action to silence those who voice disagreements with the powers that be. All those inside and outside of Malaysia who care about respect for human rights and democracy in Malaysia need to stand up now and demand the government stop these wrecking ball tactics on activists and members of the political opposition."

"Human Rights Watch proudly gave a Hellman Hammett award for defenders of free expression to Zunar in 2011, and we will continue to stand by him as he fights for his rights."

Zunar is also recipient of the Cartoonists Rights Network's Courage in Cartooning award.

What You Can Do

Email and write in support of Zunar's right to cartoon and his right of free speech to Malaysia's Prime Minister, Home Minister and Inspector of General Police.

Prime Minister Mohd Najib Razak
Pejabat Perdana Menteri Bangunan Perdana Putra Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan 62502 Putrajaya,
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +603-88888010 / 03-88888000
Fax: +603-88887711 / 03-88880142

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Kementerian Dalam Negeri, Aras 12, Blok D1, Kompleks D, Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan 62502
Putrajaya, Malaysia
Tel: +603-88868007
Fax: +603-88891720
email: [email protected]

Inspector of General Police Khalid Abu Bakar
Ibu Pejabat Polis Diraja Malaysia
Bukit Aman
50560 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +603 – 2266 2222
Fax: +603 – 2070 7500
Email: [email protected]

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