Friday, August 08, 2008

CIJ:-Arrest and harassment of bloggers under criminal laws must stop

Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
27C Jalan Sarikei, off Jalan Pahang
53000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 4023 0772
Fax: 03 4023 0769

Press Release
8 August 2008

Arrest and harassment of bloggers under criminal laws must stop

The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) condemns the police arrest of
blogger Abdul Rashid Abu Bakar, owner of the blog penarik beca (trishaw
peddler), under the broadly worded Sedition Act, which gives the state a
free hand in punishing any form of expression. Seen from the frequency
with which the Sedition Act is being invoked against bloggers, this law is
clearly the preferred instrument to punish and harass bloggers who are
being critical against the state institutions and personalities.

Police arrested blogger Abdul Rashid Abu Bakar, known as Pak Bakaq in his
blog, late in the evening of August 7, at the blogger's home and
confiscated his computer in a raid. Abdul Rashid is now being remanded in
the Bukit Aman police headquarters in the capital city since his arrest.

When contacted by CIJ, the coordinator of the case, DSP Victor Sanjos of
the Commercial Crime Unit, said Abdul Rashid was detained for publishing
in his blog a digitally manipulated image of the police insignia, deemed
to be "insulting" to the police force. Included in Abdul Rashid's version
were modifications substituting the head of a tiger for that of a dog, the
jawi script of "Allah" and "Muhammad" for "C4" (the explosive used in the
murder of the Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu), and the word "Malaysia" for
"Israel". In addition to this charge, Abdul Rashid is also being detained
for alleging in his blog business connections between the force and triad
society.

The officer did not specify when and whether or not Abdul Rashid will be
formally charged.

On May 6, blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin of the Malaysia Today was charged
with Sedition Act over a posting on the murder of the Mongolian Altantuya
Shaariibuu. He was later additionally charged under criminal defamation
for his statutory declaration on the same subject on July 17.

The invoking of Sedition Act and criminal laws aimed at criminalizing
freedom of expression send a chilling effect to other bloggers and
writers. It takes away the room for the public to express critical opinion
in any form on the state institutions and key personnels. The broad
discretion afforded to the police under the law also makes it convenient
for the police, or any other state institution, to eliminate public
scrutiny by criminalizing this critical behaviour. This goes against
democratic practices in which public institutions are subject to the
public check and scrutiny.

CIJ calls on the police to immediately release Abdul Rashid and drop all
charges against him. We urge the government to repeal the Sedition Act
which has been used against critics under the pretext of protecting
national security. There are laws in place, such as those aimed at
deterring incitement and hate speech, that sufficiently serve the purpose
of maintaining national order and harmony.

The Centre for Independent Journalism, Malaysia (CIJ) aspires for a
society that is democratic, just and free, where all people enjoy free
media and the freedom to express, seek, and impart information.

Ends

Issued by
Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)


Malaysiakini report, 8/8/2008 entitled 'Logo anjing: Penulis blog dibebas?' also indicated that he may...MAY be released today at 4pm (but still no news of any release at time of posting...)

Menurut Bernama, penulis blog itu ditahan di rumahnya pada pukul 10 malam di Taman Koperasi Polis, Gombak bagi membantu siasatan mengikut Seksyen 4(1) Akta Hasutan 1948.

Penulis blog Abu Bakar Mohd Rashid yang ditahan sejak kelmarin kerana menggantikan kepala harimau dengan "kepala anjing" di lambang rasmi Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) di lamannya dijangka akan dibebaskan jam 4 petang ini.

abu bakar mohd rashid penarik beca 080808Isterinya memberitahu Malaysiakini sebentar tadi, jika wartawan sambilan itu memberikan kerjasama dalam siasatan polis, beliau akan dibebaskan daripada tahanan di ibu pejabat polis bahagian jenayah perdagangan, Kuala Lumpur.

Abu Bakar (foto kanan), yang juga dikenali Bakar Haq, popular dengan kelantangannya mengupas isu-isu politik di blog nya 'Penarik Beca' (www.penarikbeca.blogspot.com).





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3 comments:

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

Sometimes there's a very thin line between what's permissible and what's prosecutable
Very often we don't even know exactly when and where 'enforcers' will turn the table
Yet we all know too well that for a country to be really thriving and seen to be openly stable
We are required to stay away and are not allowed to pull any of the 'classified, sensitive but wrong' cables

(C)Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 080808
http://MotivationInMotion.blogspot.com
Fri. 8th Aug. 2008.

Nostradamus said...

Q44. Little Napoleons are the ones ruling Malaysians. (True or False)
“Little Napoleons” sebenarnya yang memerintah rakyat Malaysia. (Betul atau Salah)

Q46.Malaysians hate Pigs and Dogs. Cows are sacred. (True or False)
Rakyat Malaysia benci Babi dan Anjing. Lembu adalah suci. (Betul atau Salah)

Q48.Freedom can only exist in the mind, not in real life. (True or False)
Kebebasan Cuma didapati dalam minda, tidak di dunia nyata. (Betul atau Salah)

Answers at http://patek1472.wordpress.com
Jawapan di http://patek1472.wordpress.com

Eddie Law said...

A fund need to raise to defend bloggers urgently.