Reacting quotes by Gwen Lee, Acting Executive Director, Amnesty International Malaysia, on the detention of prominent Turkish journalist and academician, Mustafa Akyol.
Amnesty International Malaysia condemns the detention of Turkish journalist and academic Mustafa Akyol, held by both the Federal Territories Islamic Department (JAWI) and the Royal Malaysian Police for over 18 hours last night.
It is deeply concerning that the authorities have resorted to such heavy-handed measures in an attempt to silence outspoken academics and dissenting voices. The Malaysian government hashave used various scare tactics, including the use of police investigations and travel bans to stigmatize the work of human rights defenders, critical academics and outspoken individuals.
We urge the Malaysian government to respect the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and freedom of movement by ending the pattern of harassment and intimidation, and use of repressive legislation against those who peacefully express their opinions.
Mustafa Akyol, a distinguished academic was called in for questioning by religious authorities for allegedly teaching without the ‘appropriate credentials’, an offence under the Federal Territories Shariah Law.
Mustafa Akyol was hosted by local organization, the Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) and took part in several speaking engagements, including a roundtable discussion and a lecture on the importance of democracy, on Sunday, 24 September. His forum on the Nottingham University’s campus on the “Islamic Jesus” was cancelled, after undue pressure from the authorities. Dr. Farouk of IRF has also been summoned to present himself before JAWI on Wednesday.
For more information, please contact Amnesty International Malaysia at +603 7955 2680.