Cartoonist Zunar has become the first Malaysian to be selected by global human rights body Amnesty International (AI) to join its Write for Rights (#W4R) 2015 campaign.
AI Malaysia today announced Zunar, whose real name is Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, as a participant of of the campaign that will see thousands of activists raising awareness of others who are persecuted by their governments.
AI Malaysia executive director Shahmini Darshni said Zunar was chosen because of the nine sedition charges that he was currently facing, for tweeting critically of the Malaysian judiciary.
“Through the #W4R campaign, members and supporters of Amnesty International will show solidarity and give support to those whose rights are being suppressed by governments,” Shahmini told a press conference in Petaling Jaya today.
In Malaysia, the #W4R campaign is making three demands – a repeal of oppressive laws such as the Sedition Act, to drop all charges against Zunar and to cease all forms of harassment against the cartoonist and his staff or assistants.
“We are very proud to be able to work with Zunar in this global campaign where we have some seven million Amnesty activists and a wide community of supporters who will draw international attention to the state of freedom of expression in Malaysia,” Shahmini said.
Zunar, meanwhile, said he was even more emboldened to continue fighting for the right to free expression in Malaysia.
The cartoonist said he took the opportunity whenever he was at speaking engagements abroad to raise awareness about the abuse of the Sedition Act on free speech and expression.
“I just returned from Florence, Italy, and will be in London next month where for the first time, I will hold a cartoon exhibition in a museum, together with other political cartoonists from around the world,” he said.
He also announced plans to hold a solo exhibition in Penang.
Zunar not only faces sedition charges but has had seven of his 18 books banned and his staff taken in for police questioning.
His latest book “Sapuman – Man of Steel” is being investigated. Police have questioned the webmaster who handles online sales of Zunar’s books.
Those wishing to support the #4WR campaign on social media can post drawings or cartoons with the #4WR #Zunar #Lakarmybebas hashtags, Shahmini said today. – October 2, 2015.
Pautan Artikel Versi Bahasa Malaysia