Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Major powers cry foul over Anwar's jailing

11:57AM Feb 11, 2015

The White House, Canada and the United Kingdom have expressed concern over the jailing of Anwar Ibrahim and questioned the fairness of Malaysia's judicial system.

White House National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said the United States was "deeply concerned" about Anwar's conviction and is also concerned about rule of law in Malaysia.

"These concerns are compounded  by the government’s intent to expand its sedition law, which Prime Minister Najib (Abdul Razak) had pledged to repeal, to prosecute government critics," she said.

Meehan said Malaysia and the United States have a strong partnership and the United States is committed to expanding this cooperation on shared economic and security challenges.

"In that context, we urge the government of Malaysia to apply the rule of law fairly, transparently, and apolitically in order to promote confidence in Malaysia’s democracy, judiciary, and economy," she said.

Selective prosecutions

Similarly, the United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office said apart from the integrity of the rule of law, Malaysia must embrace moderation and tolerance to succeed.

"We encourage Malaysia to recognise the importance of international confidence in its judicial system and to restore trust in its commitment to human rights," Minister of State Hugo Swire said.

Meanwhile, the High Commission of Canada in Kuala Lumpur also noted that Malaysia had practised "selective prosecutions" in the application of sedition laws.

"The rule of law is a core value and principle vital to the flourishing of democracy and the institutions of a peaceful and prosperous society.

"Anwar’s conviction also comes at a time when Canada and other countries have conveyed concerns regarding selective prosecutions in Malaysia, including under the Sedition Act 1948," the Canadian High Commission statement says.

Yesterday, the Federal Court upheld the Court of Appeal's conviction and five-year jail sentence against Anwar for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
~ Malaysiakini

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