Support from international organisations
1. Committee to Protect Journalists
Malaysia intensifies harassment of award-winning cartoonist
Bangkok, November 28, 2016―Malaysian authorities should drop all criminal charges against award-winning cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, popularly known as Zunar, and cease harassing him for his work, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
Police on November 26 arrested Zunar under the Sedition Act on the charge his editorial cartoons insulted Prime Minister Najib Razak, according to press reports. Zunar has often satirized Najib, including by calling attention to allegations of corruption in Najib’s management of a government development fund known as 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Authorities released Zunar on bail the following day pending the conclusion of the criminal investigation, reports said.
2. THE George Town Literary Festival
#GTLF2016: STATEMENT ON ZUNAR’S ARREST
THE George Town Literary Festival learned with deep regret of the arrest of Zunar, the renowned political cartoonist who is a participant in this year’s festival. Zunar was detained under the Sedition Act this afternoon.
“The Festival condemns this act of repression which is contrary to the spirit of free speech and expression, a central premise of the festival,” said Festival Director Bernice Chauly.
Aliran’s EMERGENCY RESOLUTION On Zunar
“This 40th AGM of Aliran is outraged that the exhibition featuring the works of Zunar, the internationally-recognised political cartoonist, was rudely disrupted by some 30 unruly elements in the presence of police personnel, including members of the light strike force;
We are baffled that these rowdies were not arrested and charged for rioting and disturbing the peace;
We are stunned that Zunar, on the other hand, was arrested on the basis of the police report made by these rowdies threatening force if Zunar’s exhibition continued and claiming that the exhibition was “rude, insulting, slanderous and filled with lies’ about Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak;
4. Amnesty International
Arrest of famed cartoonist Zunar in Malaysia is an outrage
“The arrest of Zunar is an outrage. The charge of sedition against him must be dropped immediately and he must be unconditionally released from detention. What we are seeing is the choking of dissent in Malaysia, where repressive laws are being used to silence and punish peaceful voices under the guise of national security,” said Josef Benedict, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
5. The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
End harassment of cartoonist Zunar
(Kuala Lumpur, Paris) The Malaysian government must immediately end the harassment of renowned cartoonist Zunar and drop all charges against him, FIDH and its member organization Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) said today.
“The arbitrary arrest of Zunar is the latest deplorable act of harassment by a government that is intolerant of any form of peaceful dissent. Zunar should never again be harassed or deprived of his liberty for exercising his basic right to freedom of expression.”
ZULKIFLEE ANWAR HAQUE, better known as ZUNAR to Malaysians, is a cartoonist who has been drawing editorial cartoons for the past 20 years in Malaysia.