KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — Cartoonist-activist Zunar is finally free of all sedition charges against him.
Zamri Bakar, the Sessions Court judge, acquitted Zunar, or his real name Zulkiflee SM Anwar Ulhaque, after deputy public prosecutors Zaki Asyraf Zubir and Norinna Bahadun dropped the sedition charges against the cartoonist. Similarly, the charges against N Surendran, former Padang Rengas MP, had been dropped as well.
Zunar was charged with nine sedition charges on April 3, 2015 for allegedly insulting the judiciary in tweets made in relation to Anwar’s conviction in the Sodomy II case.
NMT sees this acquittal as a victory for freedom of speech in general. Many had fallen victim to the previous government’s selective prosecution, in their attempts to silence those who spoke against them. Politically motivated charges were rampant then. Political activists like Zunar, Fahmi Reza, Adam Adli and even political supporters had been charged unfairly by those colluding with the previous government.
Sports and Youth Minister Syed Saddiq had previously came out on Astro Awani in support of Dato’ Sri Stanley Thai from Supermax as he was criminally charged with insider trading. He was convicted and sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment, on a case that is usually handled as a civil lawsuit by the Securities Commission. His wife, Datin Sri Cheryl Thai is also facing similar sentence on an ongoing case. Dato’ Sri Stanley Thai came out strongly in support of Pakatan Rakyat in the running of GE13.