GHAH: Attorney General must keep to his promise to review Sedition Charges

PRESS STATEMENT BY GERAKAN HAPUS AKTA HASUTAN (GHAH)

30 September 2014

We refer to the statement made by the Attorney General (AG) on 9th September 2014 promising that he will review some of the sedition charges. In his written statement the AG had assured the Malaysian public that the recent spate of sedition charges would be reviewed and announced soon. He had made the assurance following widespread public concern over the sedition blitz. The public concern was specifically addressed by the AG who said in his statement that the AG’s chambers is sensitive towards any worries (kebimbangan) arising from prosecutions.

However, in contradiction to the AG’s assurances, many more persons have been investigated / prosecuted since the review promise was made, including two prominent personalities, former law professor Aziz Bari and former deputy chairperson of National Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM), Tan Sri Simon Sipaun.

In the recent cases of Adam Adli and Safwan Anang , prosecutors even pushed for custodial and deterrent sentences despite public concern over the sedition blitz and the AG’s own assurance of a pending review.

This runs contrary to the AG’s own 9th September statement in which he says that the AG’s chamber is “always committed to carrying out their duties with responsibility and in accordance with the law in bringing prosecutions”.

Further the AG‘s conduct in continuing with the prosecutions is in contradiction to the Prime Minister repeated promise to repeal and replace the Sedition Act 1948.

In fact the AG’s chamber was tasked as early as 2012 to formulate the Bill to replace the Sedition Act upon its repeal.

We therefore call upon the AG to carry out his assurances to the public that the sedition charges will be reviewed and to do the right thing by dropping all the charges pending repeal of the Sedition Act.

 

For inquiry, please contact:

Mr. Yap Swee Seng, executive director of Suaram at +6012 2015272 or [email protected]

Mr. Eric Paulsen, executive director of Lawyers for Liberty at +60 12 7162972 or [email protected]

Mr. Liau Kok Fah, chairperson of Civil Rights Committee of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall at +60 16 2265330 or [email protected]