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MALAYSIA: CRACKDOWN ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Since August, at least eight people have been charged for so-called ‘seditious’ comments under Malaysia’s draconian Sedition Act.

Write to Malaysia’s authorities, calling on them to repeal the Sedition Act immediately.

(TATAL KE BAWAH UNTUK MEMBACA VERSI BAHASA MALAYSIA)

 

MORE INFORMATION 

Malaysia’s colonial-era Sedition Act severely curtails freedom of expression. It criminalises a wide array of activities, including those ‘with a tendency to excite disaffection against any Ruler or government’ or that ‘question any matter’ protected by the Constitution.

Those found guilty can face three years in prison and hefty fines. Opposition politicians, lawyers, journalists and others are at risk.

Recently, there has been an alarming rise in the use of the Sedition Act. Since August, at least eight people have been charged under the Sedition Act.

These include:

  • student Ali Abdul Jalil, charged in September and now imprisoned for seditious’ comments on Facebook.
  • Dr Azmi Sharom, an academic charged with sedition on 2 September for alleged remarks about the 2009 political crisis in Perak.
  • N Surendran, an opposition leader and human rights lawyer defending Anwar Ibrahim, charged with two counts of sedition: the first for criticising a court ruling and second, for criticising the Malaysian Prime Minister on a YouTube posting.

 

Two years ago Malaysia’s Prime Minister promised to repeal the Sedition Act, saying it represented a ‘by-gone era’.

 

Call on the Malaysian authorities to:

  • stop using the Sedition Act to criminalise peaceful dissent and to drop charges against those currently accused of ‘sedition’ solely for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression.
  • immediately and unconditionally release all those who have been detained or imprisoned under the Sedition Act solely for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression.
  • immediately repeal the Sedition Act, and to review and amend all other laws which restrict the right to freedom of expression, in compliance with international human rights law and standards.

 

 

VERSI BAHASA MALAYSIA

Akta Hasutan Malaysia yang diwarisi dari zaman pemerintahan British menghalang kebebasan bersuara.  Akta ini mengharamkan pelbagai aktiviti, termasuk yang ‘membangkitkan perasaan tidak puas hati terhadap mana-mana Raja atau kerajaan’ atau ‘mempersoalkan apa-apa perkara’ yang dilindungi oleh Perlembagaan.

Mereka yang didapati bersalah mungkin dihukum penjara tiga tahun dan didenda berat. Ahli-ahli politik pembangkang, peguam, wartawan dan lain-lain turut menghadapi risiko ini.

Sejak kebelakangan ini, kes-kes yang didakwa di bawah Akta Hasutan telah meningkat secara mendadak. Sekurang-kurang lapan orang telah didakwa di bawah Akta Hasutan sejak bulan Ogos.

Ini termasuk:

  • Ali Abdul Jalil, pelajar, telah didakwa pada bulan September dan kini dipenjarakan untuk komen berunsur hasutan di laman Facebook.
  • Dr Azmi Sharom, pensyarah, telah didakwa menghasut pada 2 September atas kenyataan beliau mengenai krisis politik 2009 di Perak.
  • N Surendran, pemimpin parti pembangkang dan peguam hak asasi manusia yang juga membela Anwar Ibrahim, telah didakwa dengan dua tuduhan menghasut: 1) mengkritik keputusan mahkamah; dan 2) mengkritik Perdana Menteri Malaysia di laman YouTube. 

 

Dua tahun lalu, Perdana Menteri Malaysia telah berjanji untuk memansuhkan Akta Hasutan dengan alasan akta tersebut ‘ketinggalan zaman’.

 

Pihak berkuasa Malaysia diseru untuk:

  • menghentikan pengunaan Akta Hasutan untuk mengharamkan kebebasan bersuara secara aman dan menggugurkan tuduhan terhadap mereka yang didakwa ‘menghasut’.
  • membebaskan mereka yang telah ditahan atau dipenjarakan di bawah Akta Hasutan dengan serta-merta dan tanpa syarat.
  • memansuhkan Akta Hasutan dengan serta-merta, dan mengkaji semula serta meminda semua undang-undang lain yang menyekat hak kebebasan bersuara supaya ianya setahap dengan undang-undang hak asasi manusia antarabangsa.

 

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Director's Message

Greetings, Human Rights Champions!

Firstly, I would like to wish each one of you a belated Happy 2017 and Gong Xi Fa Cai on behalf of the AI Malaysia crew. I hope you have had an amazing start to 2017! Thank you, also, for the continuous support you have given us throughout 2016.

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