Lift ban on Zunar’s works, urges US-based cartoonist group

By G Vinod,  Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: A US-based cartoonist group called on the Malaysian government to lift its sedition charges against local cartoonist, Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, better known as Zunar, in the best interest of democracy.

The group calling itself Cartoonists Rights Network, International (CRNI) also said that Zunar’s cartoon books should be allowed to be printed freely and distributed with no restrictions.

In a letter yesterday to Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, CRNI said it was contradictory for Malaysia, which champions democracy, to have categorised Zunar’s cartoons as seditious.

“Cartoons encourage accountability, transparency and Zunar’s works are powerful anti-corruption devices. Anyone against these principles cannot be for democracy and must be for tyranny,” said its executive director Dr Robert Russell.

“While some of his cartoons may be embarrassing to certain important individuals, the contents speak strongly for Malaysia’s recognition of the importance of free speech in a healthy democracy.

“We understand that during US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Malaysia last month, she was assured of Malaysia’s good faith in adhering to basic human right,” added Russell.