Cartoonist claims trial for nine charges of Sedition


“How can i be neutral… even my pen has a stand!” -Zunar

Cartoonist Zulkiflee SM Anwar Ulhaque, or better known as Zunar, has claimed trial to nine counts of sedition at a Sessions Court today for tweets he made following the jailing of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

The charges he faces are for three separate tweets allegedly criticising the judiciary.

According to The Malaysian Insider, the three tweets include one which criticised the five-man panel at the Federal Court, who on February 10 upheld the ruling of the Court of Appeals to convict Anwar of sodomy; for a tweet alleging that Anwar’s guilty verdict was predetermined; and for one tweet condemning the judiciary since the sacking of former Lord President Tun Salleh Abas by former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

najib is the judge

One of Zunar’s Tweets following the Anwar verdict.

If found guilty, Zunar could face up to 43 years in jail.

The court set May 20 for next mention.

On Wednesday, Zunar said the charges were a “vendetta against cartoons”, stating that the prosecution was due to his history of being critical of the government in many of his books, such as the “Pirate of Carry BN” and “Conspiracy to Imprison Anwar”.

Civil society groups also condemned the charges against Zunar.

Gerakan Hapus Akta Hasutan (GHAH) in a statement said it is an attempt to stifle free speech otherwise guaranteed by Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.

“After politicians, lawyers, students and activists, now a cartoonist has become the victim of greed of the ruling regime.”

“The government will continue to use the draconian Act as a weapon to silence criticism and any statement seen as going against their wishes, and this will continue until the archaic Act going by the name “Sedition Act” brought upon us by the British in 1948 is abolished.”

GHAH added that the Act, masquerading as a way to preserve national harmony, is merely a political ploy to inculcate fear amongst the people.

Following the charges meted out by the Sessions Court today, The Malay Mail Online reports that Zunar has been taken to the Dang Wangi police station, believed to be  for investigations into a picture posted on his Facebook page depicting Najib in a purple lock-up garb.

– The Rocket


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