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

Activist Fahmi Reza charged with distribution of offensive caricature of PM

Source: The Star

Pic drawn from The Star Online

Pic drawn from The Star Online

IPOH:  Activist and graphic designer Fahmi Reza (pic) has been ordered by a Sessions Court here to enter his defence to a charge of posting a caricature image of a national leader on his Facebook account.

Fahmi, 40, whose full name is Mohd Fahmi Reza Mohd Zarin, had allegedly posted an edited image of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on his Instagram account on Jan 31, 2016.

He has been charged at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court for the offence.

For the charge in Ipoh, Mohd Fahmi was said to have uploaded the image intentionally on his Facebook account on Feb 8, 2016.

Sessions Court judge Norashima Khalid instructed Mohd Fahmi to enter his defence after the prosecution proved a prime facie case against him.

He choose to give sworn evidence from the dock. He was represented by counsel Syahredzan Johan, while Nazrul Nizam Zameri prosecuted.

Mohd Fahmi was charged under Section 233 (1) (a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 which carries a sentence of one year imprisonment, a RM50,000 fine or both.

Federal Court sends Fahmi Reza case to Sessions Court

Source: The Star Online

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has sent the case involving activist Fahmi Reza to the Sessions Court, after ruling that there was a procedural error in the constitutional challenge against the charges.

In delivering the decision of the panel, Court of Appeal president Justice Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin said the case was not properly brought to the apex court, due to non-compliance with the Courts of Judicature Act.

The panel, which also included Justices Azahar Mohamed, Zaharah Ibrahim, Balia Yusof Wahi and Dr Prasad Sandosham Abraham also set aside the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s order to have the matter brought to the Federal Court.

The prosecution had obtained the order on Feb 23 when they submitted a motion that only the Federal Court was empowered to address questions of constitutionality. Read more

Fahmi Reza finalist for freedom of expression award

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Graphic artist Fahmi Reza, shortlisted for a freedom of expression award, joins 15 other nominees from around the world who fought to overcome censorship. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Graphic artist Fahmi Reza, shortlisted for a freedom of expression award, joins 15 other nominees from around the world who fought to overcome censorship. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 7 ― Graphic artist Fahmi Reza has been shortlisted for a freedom of expression award by a UK-based non-profit.

Fahmi, who was shortlisted in the arts field for Index on Censorship’s Freedom of Expression Awards 2017, joined 15 other nominees from around the world who fought to overcome censorship, including Chinese political cartoonist Wang Liming known as Rebel Pepper, Honduran LGBT organisation Arcoiris and Zimbabwean pastor Ewan Mawarire.

“Index on Censorship believes defiant voices like Reza’s offer real hope for Malaysia’s future and we commend the inspiration and hope he has transmitted across Malaysia and beyond,” Index on Censorship said in a statement.

Fahmi has lampooned corruption in his artwork and created the #KitaSemuaPenghasut (we are all seditious) hashtag to criticise the Sedition Act 1948 that authorities have frequently used to clamp down on dissent.

The Malaysian graphic artist was also charged under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 last year over his cartoons of the prime minister in clown make-up.

 

Fahmi Reza dibenar Mahkamah Tinggi terus cabar pertuduhan

Source: FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: Mahkamah Tinggi Kuala Lumpur hari ini menolak bantahan timbalan pendakwa raya atas permohonan aktivis dan pelukis, Mohd Fahmi Reza Mohd Zarin, 39, untuk membatalkan pertuduhan memuat naik gambar menyerupai perdana menteri di akaun Instagramnya, Januari lepas.

Pesuruhjaya Kehakiman, Datuk Mohamad Shariff Abu Samah menolak bantahan awal timbalan pendakwa raya, Ahmad Nazneen Zulkifli dengan sebab Mahkamah Tinggi mempunyai bidang kuasa untuk mendengar permohonan Fahmi untuk membatalkan pertuduhan.

Mahkamah Tinggi menetapkan 23 Februari ini untuk mendengar penghujahan permohonan Fahmi untuk membatalkan pertuduhan itu. Read more

Fahmi Reza gets to fly to Taiwan despite travel ban (VIDEO)

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 — Activist Fahmi Reza said he managed to fly to Taiwan this morning after speaking to the police about being blacklisted by immigration authorities that prohibited him from travelling abroad.

The graphic artist wrote on his Facebook page Saturday that the police had put him on their “wanted” list and on the immigration blacklist on March 31 last year when he was in Thailand, during which Bukit Aman’s Commercial Crime Investigation Department opened investigations under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 over his clown caricature of the prime minister.

“I fought the law, and I won! I’m going to Taiwan! Ending yang tidak dijangka [An unexpected ending],” Fahmi posted on Facebook this morning.

Fahmi said the police inspector who had put him on the “wanted” list was unaware that he was already questioned in February last year by another police officer and by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). Read more

Aktivis Fahmi Reza dilarang keluar negara

Sumber: FMT News

Graphic artist Fahmi Reza. — MMO file pic

Graphic artist Fahmi Reza. — MMO file pic

PETALING JAYA: Aktivis Fahmi Reza, yang popular kerana melukis karikatur pemimpin politik, tidak boleh keluar negara selepas namanya disenarai hitam imigresen.

Fahmi, dalam satu kenyataan di Facebook berkata penyenaraian itu diketahui selepas dia membuat pemeriksaan dengan imigresen kerana mahu ke Taiwan minggu depan.

Menurutnya, imigresen memaklumkan dia tidak boleh keluar negara sejak 31 Mac tahun lalu.

“Aku fikir ini mesti sebab lukisan muka badut lah, tak ada kes lain. Aku ‘post’ gambar tu pada 31 Januari 2016, aku kena siasat dan kena bagi keterangan pada polis pada 28 Februari 2016. Memang tak ada kes lain lah,” katanya.

Menurut Fahmi, dia kemudian menghubungi pegawai penyiasat kes itu di Bukit Aman dan dimaklumkan dirinya disenarai hitam.

Read more

Malaysia’s Growing Crackdown on Dissent

Source: The Diplomat

A new report sheds light on a disturbing trend.

Prosecutors in the United States have filed civil lawsuits in July 2016 alleging that more than $3.5 billion was defrauded from 1MDB. Pic taken from FMT News.

Prosecutors in the United States had filed civil lawsuits in July 2016 alleging that more than $3.5 billion was defrauded from 1MDB. Pic taken from FMT News.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his government have come under fire for the jailing of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and a crackdown on dissent, particularly the pro-democracy movement Bersih.

But a 40-page report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) found the Malaysian government has spread prosecutions of peaceful speech over the last 12-months beyond activists and politicians to ordinary citizens on social media.

“Criminalizing peaceful speech appears part of the Malaysian government’s larger effort to tighten the noose on anyone expressing political discontent,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“The authorities should cease prosecuting people for criticism or perceived ‘insults,’ and the government should urgently revise its laws to meet international free expression standards.”

The report, Deepening the Culture of Fear: The Criminalization of Peaceful Expression in Malaysia, documents the government’s use of broad, vaguely worded laws to criminalize peaceful speech and assembly.

It said the government had sought to punish individuals who criticized Najib’s administration, particularly in regards to a massive corruption scandal involving the government-owned 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Read more

Hullabaloo over the middle finger – Dominic Joseph

Source: Berita Daily

BY DOMINIC G. JOSEPH

Metaphorically, it can represent ministerial code of conduct and the other fingers may reflect high cost of living, corruption, nepotism and a weak economy

Image courtesy of Dominic Joseph / Berita Daily.

Image courtesy of Dominic Joseph / Berita Daily.

7 June, 2016. KUALA LUMPUR: Lately, there have been lots of buzz and hullabaloo over the use of the middle finger. Activist and artist Fahmi Reza used the middle finger as a metaphor in his colouring book – the ‘Malaysian Politikus ABC Colouring Book’ . This colouring book mocks politicians from both sides of the divide.

“This colouring book is especially for youths who are interested in politics but do not like politicians (politikus),” said Fahmi Reza.

The prime minister was described as ‘corruptor’ and another Umno man Ahmad Maslan as a clown’ in the book.

The others include Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, depicted showing two middle fingers with the word ‘hypocrite’. Another image depicted PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang putting a finger to his lips with the word ‘God’. Read more