Zunar sues police, govt over wrongful arrest, seized books

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Source: FMT News

Cartoonist Zulkiflee SM Anwarul Haque, or Zunar, claims his arrest last December was unlawful and his books, t-shirts were seized without any merit.

Zunar (from left) and his supporters, lawyer Melissa Sasidaran (second right) at the KL High Court. Pic taken from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Cartoonist Zulkiflee SM Anwarul Haque or Zunar, today sued the police and the government claiming his arrest at a fundraising event here last year was unlawful.

In his suit, Zunar said that his books and t-shirts were also seized without any basis at the same event held at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) on Dec 17, 2016.

According to Zunar, he was not informed of the reason why he was arrested by the police during his “Tea With Zunar” event.

“The police from Dang Wangi police station arrested me unlawfully and denied me my personal freedom,” he said in his statement of claim, filed today at the High Court registry here.

Besides that, Zunar is also demanding the police and government to return the 1,187 books and 103 pieces of t-shirts they confiscated during the event.

He is seeking damages over the false imprisonment and special damages of RM22,388, which he said is the cost of the seized books and t-shirts, as well as a court declaration that the police had breached his constitutional rights.

He named Dang Wangi criminal investigation department chief Gunalan Muniandy, police officer Mohamad Ridzuann Samsudin, 16 unidentified policemen who were said to be involved in the raid, the Inspector-General of Police and government in his lawsuit.

Lawyer N Surendran told reporters after filing the lawsuit, the constant arrests against Zunar are unlawful and they will continue to take those who arrested Zunar to court.

“No more tolerance. They have a duty under the Police Act and they should act within the ambit of the law,” said Surendran, who is also a PKR vice-president.

Meanwhile, Zunar demanded to know why the police confiscated his books and kept them.

“My books are not banned and I was only selling them to my fans during the fundraising event. What is wrong with that?” he asked.

Zunar’s arrest in KLSCAH in December came less than a month after his first arrest in Komtar, Penang at an art exhibition featuring his work.

Police were later reported as saying that Zunar was being investigated under Section 124C of the Penal Code for activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy, pertaining to the KLSCAH event.

Zunar said he will also be filing a lawsuit in Penang soon, demanding that police return the 40 artworks that were confiscated at the Komtar exhibition.

On Nov 26 last year, Zunar was reported to have been arrested under the Sedition Act and the Penal Code, a day after a Penang Umno Youth member confronted Zunar at the exhibition and caused a commotion.

The cartoonist was forced to cancel his exhibition.