The short URL of the present article is: http://cartoonistsrights.org/3Rdpubanned and confiscated anew.
In a press release on November 6th Zunar stated: “Three of my assistants were arrested and taken to Putrajaya Police Station, near Kuala Lumpur today (Thursday) for selling my cartoon books. They were investigated under The Sedition Act, Penal Code and Printing and Press Act. They were released under the police bail.” Zunar has denied police reports that one of the persons arrested was his wife.
The trio had reportedly been displaying Zunar books, cards and cartoon strips near the Putrajaya courtroom complex since the controversial trial of government opposition leader and head of the People’s Justice Party, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, commenced.
This latest harassment follows the Malaysian Court-of-Appeal decision just last month overturning a 2010 ban of two of Zunar’s political cartoon compilations on grounds of sedition.
The appeals court tribunal declared on October 9th that the Home Ministry “acted unreasonably and irrationally in issuing the blanket ban” and the seizure of Zunar’s books “1 Funny Malaysia” and “Perak Darul Kartun.
In that decision the court rejected the government’s charge of sedition, stating that “ridiculing politicians does not threaten public order.”
Zunar, whose legal name is Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, received word of his court victory in San Francisco while attending an American Association of Editorial Cartoonists convention, following the presentation of another of his cartoon collections, “Pirates of the Carry-BN” to the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
In response to the Malaysian Appeal Court decision, Zunar posted his hopes that the ruling would prompt the government to lift bans on four of his other books and desist in the harassment of his printers, in the intimidation of the venders and bookstore owners wanting to sell his books, and would return all his books previously confiscated by the government.
Failing to do this and respect free speech and artistic expression, Zunar concluded, would relegate the administration of Malaysian PM Najib Rezak as “merely a cartoon government.” Zunar received word on November 11th that the government of Malaysia is going to a higher court in the hope of overturning his legal victory.
The short URL of the present article is: http://cartoonistsrights.org/3Rdpu