ARTICLE 19 condemns the investigation of five editors and a photographer from The Star newspaper under the Sedition Act and the Penal Code for sedition and religious hate. The Star is being investigated by police for their front page of 27 May, which featured a photograph of Muslims performing their Tarawih prayer (a prayer performed during Ramadan) underneath a summary of a story which was, headlined “Malaysian Terrorist Leader”. The newspaper immediately issued a formal apology on 28 May citing an “error of judgement”.
The Home Ministry issued The Star a show-cause letter on 29 May calling for the newspaper to explain why its publication should not be suspended under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984. This Act seriously limits independence of the media and free expression, giving broad power to the Home Minister to revoke or suspend a permit for any period he considers desirable. Criminal investigations were then opened on 30 May despite an earlier apology published by The Star and the suspension of Editor-in-Chief, Datuk Leanne Goh Lee Yen and Executive Editor, Dorairaj Nadason. Read more