8

Feb

Court Update: Zunar’s Travel ban challenge: Judge agreed to recuse herself

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Judge Datuk Hanifah Farikullah today agreed to recuse herself from hearing my case challenging the travel ban imposed by the Malaysian government at Kuala Lumpur High Court today.

Lawyers Latifah Koya, Eric Paulsen and Melissa Sasidaran submitted the aplication on my behalf on the ground that Hanifah had decided in two previous cases of Tony Pua’s and Hishamuddin Rais’ involving similar issues and laws.

There was no objection from the AG Chamber on the application. The court will inform the date for the next session.

On 7th Dec 2016, I filed a leave application for a judicial review to challenge the Immigration Department’s decision barring me from travelling overseas. I named the Immigration Director-General, Home Minister and the government as respondents.

I am seeking a certiorari order to quash the travel restriction by the respondents, which was informed to me orally at KLIA airport on 17th October 2016. The order seeks to review that the travel ban violates the Article 5 (1), Article 8 and/or Article 9 of the Federal Constitution, therefore to declare that the ban is null, void and unconstitutional.

I am also seeking a mandamus order from the court to instruct the respondents to allow me to travel overseas without restrictions.

On 17th October 2016, I was at the KL International Airport leaving for Singapore to attend a forum when I was stopped by the immigration officers.

Last week, I was unable to travel to Switzerland for the launch of my exhibition in Morges due to the travel ban.

BACKGROUND

  • Court: 24 January 2017.
  • Case: 9 charges under the Sedition Act, which carries maximum penalty for 43 years. (Has been postponed to 11th May)

17 Dec 2016: Zunar was arrested under new law, “Detrimental To Parlimenr Democracy” which carries maximun penalty for 15 years jail. 1,300 copies of his cartoon books were confiscated.

26th Nov 2016 – Zunar was arrested, detained and investigated under two laws: the Sedition Act and the Penal Code.

25th Nov 2016 – Zunar was forced to call off his exhibition in Penang (about 4 hours drive up-north from Kuala Lumpur), due to an attack by pro government thugs.

17 Oct 2016 – Zunar was banned from traveling abroad by the Malaysian government.

2 April 2015 – Zunar was slapped with nine charges under the archaic Sedition Act and facing possible 43 years imprisonment.

10 Feb : Zunar was arrested under the Sedition Act.

24 September 2010: Arrested under The Sedition Act.

Beside that, his office has been raided several times, his webmaster been arrested, the printers who print his books also raided. Nine of his cartoons book were banned.

AWARDS

  1. “Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award 2011” by Cartoonists Right
    Network International
  2. “Cartooning For Peace Award 2016” Geneva
  3. Human Rights Watch Hellman/Hammett Award for 2011 & 2015
  4. International Press Freedom Award, Committee to Protect Journalist, New York 2015

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