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Malaysia: Political satirist takes government to court over ‘Cartoon-O-Phobia’

Posted on January 19, 2012 | No Comments

Kuala Lumpur 18.01.12: Celebrated Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar (née Zulkifli Anwar Ulhaque) appeared at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today for the first hearing of a civil suit brought by himself against the government and the police, in which he challenges them for his wrongful arrest and detention in September 2010.

Represented by the group Lawyers for Liberty, Zunar is seeking the return of confiscated property as well as aggravated losses and damages incurred in the incident which took place on 24 September 2010. That night, hours before the launch of Zunar’s latest compilation of political cartoons titled ‘Cartoon-O-Phobia’, the police raided the artist’s office in Kuala Lumpur, seized all copies of the book and arrested him for sedition.

In a career spanning two decades, Zunar has produced popular political cartoons which dare to lampoon public figures and institutions in Malaysia, with the aim of exposing the abuse of power by the police, judiciary, election commission and government officials. His work is considered sensitive, even radical, in Malaysia.

freeDimensional joins ARTICLE 19 in urging the Malaysian government to hasten progress on a raft of reforms, including an immediate review of regressive media and censorship legislation such as the Sedition Act 1948 and the Printing Presses and Publication Act 1984, both of which exert a serious chilling effect on freedom of speech and of the media.

Text reposted from www.Article19.org. Image taken from cartoonistsrights.org

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