Friday, February 6, 2015

Amnesty wants Putrajaya to drop sedition charge against human rights lawyer

Published: 5 February 2015 2:59 PM
Amnesty International says the Sedition Act violates the right to freedom of expression, which is enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and also guaranteed in Article 10 of the Malaysian Constitution. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Seth Akmal, February 5, 2015.


Amnesty International says the Sedition Act violates the right to freedom of expression, which is enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and also guaranteed in Article 10 of the Malaysian Constitution. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Seth Akmal, February 5, 2015.

















Human rights group Amnesty International has urged Putrajaya to drop the "politically motivated" sedition charge against lawyer Eric Paulsen, saying that they would make him their "prisoner of conscience" if he was sent to jail for the offence.
Paulsen (pic), who is executive director of civil society movement Lawyers for Liberty, was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court this morning with sedition over his Twitter post which allegedly criticised the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) for spreading extremism via Friday sermons.
Amnesty said in a statement today that in the past year, the Malaysian government has made increasing use of the colonial-era Sedition Act.
It noted that the Act was a draconian law originally targetted at those who called for Malaysia’s Independence, and which gives the government sweeping powers to clamp down on critics.
“These politically motivated charges must be dropped immediately and unconditionally.
"It is ludicrous that someone could face three years in prison simply for a tweet critical of the authorities,” said Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s research director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
He also said that the relentless use of the Act by the Malaysian government amounted to a serious assault on freedom of expression that had a chilling effect on public debate in the country.
Amnesty, which has long expressed concerns about the 1948 Act, said that the law did not comply with international human rights law, and violated the right to freedom of expression, which is enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and also guaranteed in Article 10 of the Malaysian Constitution. – February 5, 2015.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/amnesty-wants-putrajaya-to-drop-sedition-charge-against-human-rights-lawyer#sthash.M7gWCyvt.dpuf

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