Malaysia: Malaysian authorities must lift travel bans on human rights defenders immediately

Malaysia: Malaysian authorities must lift travel bans on human rights defenders immediately

[PRESS STATEMENT]

Amnesty International is deeply concerned with the continued persecution and harassment of cartoonist and political activist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque (Zunar).

“The recent decision of the High Court to dismiss Zunar’s challenge to his travel ban is deeply troubling and sets a concerning precedent that it is permissible for the Malaysian government to target activists and prevent them from travelling abroad because of their activism,” said Gwen Lee, Acting Executive Director Amnesty International Malaysia.

Amnesty International views this travel ban on Zunar as the Malaysian authority’s attempt to intimidate its government critics into silence, in addition to the nine sedition charges he is facing and a myriad of police investigations for his cartoons.

Zunar was also investigated on 29 November at the police headquarters Bukit Aman under the Communications and Multimedia Act, for one of his cartoons.

The travel bans that have been imposed on various activists such as Zunar, Maria Chin, Hishamuddin Rais are a blatant violation of the universal rights to freedom of movement, association and freedom of expression.

“Amnesty International recalls the sudden, intensified crackdown on dissent carried out by the Malaysian authorities after the 13th General Elections. The Malaysian government must not repeat its all-out assault on free speech, human rights defenders and government critics and must respect the need for democratic spaces for all.

“We call upon the Malaysian government to lift all travel bans imposed on human rights defenders and government critics and to respect and protect the right to freedom of expression immediately,” said Lee.

Public Document

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please call Amnesty International Malaysia’s office in Petaling Jaya, Selangor on:

+603 7955 2680 or

email: aimalaysia@aimalaysia.org

twitter & facebook: @AmnestyMy

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