Charged Malaysian cartoonist Zunar receives 2015 CPJ Press Freedom Award

Source: The Washington Post

Zunar – pic courtesy of The Independent

LAST YEAR, as we sat in a Washington home, Zunar raised his hands to jab and stab and punctuate his every impassioned point. When a cartoonist faces a moral crisis, he told Comic Riffs, “you need to stand and fight. You need to carry the people’s voice through your cartoon.”

Today, Zunar — the nom-de-toon of Malaysian political cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque — is being recognized for raising a moral and unsilenced voice through his cartoons.

The Committee to Protect Journalists announces today that Zunar is among the recipients of its 2015 International Press Freedom Awards, which recognize journalists who “have endured death threats, physical attacks, legal action, imprisonment or exile in the course of their work.”

“Whether through blogs or traditional media outlets, or by drawing cartoons, they risk their personal safety and freedom to bring us the news,” Joel Simon, executive director of the New York-based CPJ, said in announcing the honorees.

The other 2015 recipients are Paraguayan journalist Cándido Figueredo Ruíz, the Zone 9 bloggers of Ethiopia and the Syrian citizen-journalist collective Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently. The Burton Benjamin Memorial Award, for lifetime achievement in the cause of press freedom, goes to Kathy Gannon, the veteran Associated Press special regional correspondent for Pakistan and Afghanistan. (Gannon’s “commitment to journalism has transcended personal risk and tragedy, including the loss of her colleague Anja Niedringhaus,” CPJ board chairman Sandra Mims Rowe said.) Read more

Expressions of racist ideas a serious concern — Human Rights Commission of Malaysia

Source: The Malay Mail Online

SUHAKAMSEPT 15 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (the Commission) refers to the impending public assembly on September 16, 2015, also known as “Himpunan Maruah Melayu” or “Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu” that has received the green light to proceed at Padang Merbok, Kuala Lumpur.

The Commission is pleased that the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) has assured that for the duration of the assembly, the safety and security of all Malaysians will be ensured, and reiterates that everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.

The Commission advises that restrictions shall not be placed on the exercise of this right other than such as are prescribed by law, and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security and/or public order.

However, the Commission is seriously concerned with the expressions of racist ideas, opinions and statements made by the spokespersons of the assembly, as reported in the media. This in the Commission’s view could likely stir up racial or religious hatred, and may constitute incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence. The Commission repeats that an assembly is deemed peaceful if its organisers have peaceful intentions and only peaceful assemblies are protected by law. Public assemblies that are deemed non-peaceful will also be unlawful because of the existence of a compelling and demonstrable threat of imminent violence. Read more