Legal experts raise alarm bells over Fahmi’s conviction

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Legal experts say graphic designer Fahmi Reza’s sentence to one month in jail and a fine of RM30,000 for insulting Prime Minister Najib Razak with a clown face caricature posted on Facebook was undemocratic and unacceptable. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, February 20, 2018.

ABSURD, undemocratic and totally unacceptable.

These were the general consensus among legal experts on the one month jail sentence and a hefty fine imposed on graphic designer Fahmi Reza by the Ipoh Sessions Court today for posting an edited image of Prime Minister Najib Razak on Facebook.

The court decision raised alarm bells, with one law expert questioning if Malaysia was emulating Thailand where punitive measures are taken against those who criticised the country’s monarch.

Universiti Malaya law lecturer Azmi Sharom said if laws were used selectively to protect one individual or a special group from legitimate criticism, it echoes of “lese majeste” (insulting the monarch or other ruler).

Thailand has a strict draconian lese-majeste law which forbids any insult to the monarchy.

Azmi said the decision against Fahmi also placed restrictions on the freedom of speech and made it an offence if anyone poked fun at a politician. Read more

Fahmi Reza jailed one month, fined RM30,000 over offensive caricature of PM

Source: The Star Online

Pic drawn from The Star Online

Fahmi Reza — Pic drawn from The Star Online

IPOH: Activist and graphic designer Fahmi Reza (pic) has been sentenced to one month’s jail and fined RM30,000 for posting a caricature of a national leader on social media.

Fahmi, 40, whose full name is Mohd Fahmi Reza Mohd Zarin, was found guilty by the Sessions Court here Tuesday (Feb 20) of uploading an edited image of the Prime Minister on Facebook with the intention to offend.

He was charged with committing the offence on Feb 8, 2016 at 12.31pm.

Mohd Fahmi was charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, which is punishable under Section 233(3) of the same Act.

Judge Norashima Khalid also ordered the accused to be jailed an additional six months if he fails to pay the fine. Read more

Muslim women enjoy fewer rights than non-Muslims here, UN committee told in Geneva

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Muslim women’s group Sisters in Islam and Musawah noted that there is no progress towards implementing reform of Islamic family laws since 1995. ― Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — A coalition of 37 civil societies and global movement Musawah has reported a lack of urgency in Putrajaya when it comes to women’s rights, while both Muslims and non-Muslims have suffered from Islamisation.

Representatives of the group orally delivered a statement at the 69th session of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday evening.

Malaysia’s progress in women’s rights will be reviewed by the United Nations CEDAW committee only for the second time today, despite acceding to CEDAW in 1995. The last review was 12 years ago for its 2004 report.

Muslim women’s group Sisters in Islam and Musawah noted that there is no progress towards implementing reform of Islamic family laws since 1995, and Islamic family law has regressed even as civil law reform has resulted in more rights for non-Muslim women.

“Muslim women now enjoy far less [sic] rights in marriage, divorce, guardianship of their children and inheritance than their non-Muslim counterparts,” the coalition said. Read more