Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cartoonist Zunar Charged with Sedition

The police raided the office of political cartoonist Zunar (left) in Brickfields on Friday and seized 66 copies of his collection (very aptly titled given the high-level of governmental paranoia towards his work!) Cartoon-o-phobia. They also apparently took away a caricature of Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor.

The story? :
Zunar’s book is considered detrimental to public order and can influence the public to revolt against government policies. 
Zunar was charged with sedition and detained but has since been released on bail.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein is reported as saying that Zunar's arrest was made after his book of cartoons that touched on the country's legal system and religion, including the "Allah" issue (still unresolved!) was found to be detrimental to public order.
Malaysiakini chief editor and Zunar's publisher Steven Gan called it :
... an attack on freedom of expression

Aliran says :
If expressing views that are critical of the government and its policies are deemed to be an offence, then this unfortunately may be construed as a warning to not only other cartoonists but also critical political commentators, analysts and oppositionists. ... If a free and responsible press is the cornerstone of a democracy, then the political and legal constraints that have been placed against journalists and cartoonists, among others, must be removed to promote democracy, the free flow of information and honest journalism. In the case of Malaysia, the Sedition Act and the Printing Presses and Publications Act must be repealed.

Zunar, meanwhile,  vows to continue to draw and also plans to sue the police.

This blogger cheers him on.

Postscript :

Some of the cartoons that got Zunar locked up.

Postscript 2 :

NGO's come out in support of Zunar :

1 comment:

Greenbottle said...

1Malaysia is afraid of cartoons! just about par for the course for the retarded BN government of malaysia.

and what an irony the book is titled cartoon-o-phobia!

Zunar is by far the BEST of malaysian cartoonists and he has balls too!

welldone ZUNAR!!!!