Our freedom of expression is a right under threat. 2020 saw an increase in crackdowns on freedom of expression; many people were arrested and charged simply for speaking up, for speaking the truth, or in defence of vulnerable communities. Repressive laws such as the Sedition Act and Communications and Multimedia Act are used all too often to silence criticism against the government.
The #Unsilenced campaign hopes to raise awareness that our freedom of expression isn’t just in the words we say, and not just confined to a political setting. The way we dress, our song and dance, the movies we watch are all forms of expression and must be protected from restriction.
On Saturday, 12 December, we organised a Virtual Day of Action encouraging all Malaysians to go online and share messages and stories in support of protecting freedom of expression using the #Unsilenced hashtag, and to sign the petition calling for repressive laws to be repealed or amended. The Day of Action saw an outpouring of support from many, with people sharing their experiences, solidarity messages, artwork and poetry.
Speaking out in support of freedom of expression is the first step in getting #Unsilenced. Here are some of the posts that were shared: