STATEMENT: HAKAM Calls for A Stop to Harassment of Fahmi Reza & Others, and for Respect to Freedom of Expression



Graphic artist Fahmi Reza has been detained by police under the Sedition Act 1948. — MMO file pic

Graphic artist Fahmi Reza has been detained by police under the Sedition Act 1948. — MMO file pic

The National Human Rights Society (HAKAM) condemns the 4 June arrests of activist and graphic artist Fahmi Reza and three others, Lew Pik-Svonn, Pang Khee Teik and Arif Rafhan Othman and their being investigated for alleged offences under the Sedition Act 1948. HAKAM views these arrests as another attempt by the Government to stifle free speech and quash dissent, adding to the burgeoning series of blatant acts by the authorities to limit the freedom of expression of individuals — a fundamental human right by international standards.

It has been reported that on 4 June Fahmi was arrested and is being investigated under Section 41c of the Sedition Act 1948 and Section 11 of the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) 1984, in connection with his sale of T-shirts bearing his #KitaSemuaPenghasut design. On the same day, three others, Lew, Pang and Arif were also arrested by the police and taken in for questioning in connection with the sale of T-shirts carrying allegedly seditious messages.

On 6 June, Fahmi was charged at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court for posting a clown caricature resembling Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on his Instagram account on 31 January, which prosecutors charge to be an offence under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA).  He has claimed trial to this charge and if found guilty, he faces a RM50,000 fine, a one-year jail term, or both. Read more

PAS bill – constitutional? — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sundaily

(Deputy President, HAKAM)

Parliament of Malaysia. – Wikipedia pic, January 28, 2016.

Parliament of Malaysia. – Wikipedia pic, January 28, 2016.

A SUSTAINED loud chorus of protestations has greeted the Dewan Rakyat speaker’s unprecedented decision to leapfrog the so-called hudud bill at the last parliamentary session.

Even the mover of the motion appeared ill-prepared as he asked for the bill to be carried over to the next session.

The intense angst against the introduction of the bill has been from just about every section of our citizenry.

Members of the ruling coalition have complained that there was no prior consultation.

The issue threatens to tear apart all manner of constitutional and political arrangements – a Sabah minister has cautioned against upsetting the sensitivities of the state.

Some have attributed a hidden agenda – given the timing before the two impending by-elections.

The powers on high have sought to describe the bill as no more than an expansion of the existing syariah law in Kelantan.

This state law provides for the criminalisation of certain actions by Muslim offenders.

This revised stance is rather surprising – given that these same leaders have hitherto questioned the right of Kelantan to provide for criminal sanctions.

And they have been right in this regard. Read more

Net freedom coalition condemns arrests under the CMA


Media statement

6 June 2016

“Net freedom coalition condemns arrests under the CMA”

We, the coalition members of Net Merdeka, are greatly concerned with the recent string of arrests for alleged offences under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998. Between 25 and 31 May, individuals from different parts of the country have been arrested and subsequently ‘extradited’ to Johor for alleged offences that can be addressed without unnecessary detention.

Four football fans were taken in for questioning under the law, allegedly for criticising the owner of the Johor football club, the crown prince of the state, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim. They are Masyhur Abdullah, 29, Arrasyiddin Mohamad, 23, Muhd Salman Zakaria, 30, and a Facebooker with the name ‘Minah Pendek’; the latter arrested while on a fishing boat out on sea.

The police have unnecessarily applied for extensive and in some cases, further remand, as investigations should be conducted diligently and completed within 24 hours. Remand should also not be used as a form of punishment and with the seizure of the electronic devices allegedly used by the suspects, there is no longer any reason to detain the person once the formalities of arrest and statement taking are completed. Read more