STATEMENT DATED 6 JUNE 2016
STOP HARASSING FAHMI REZA & OTHERS.
RESPECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
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