Great news, folks!
Zulkiflee Anwar Haque (aka Zunar) and Surendran (former Padang Serai MP) have been acquitted from their sedition charges. FREEDOM!
After Attorney-General (AG) Tommy Thomas approved a representation letter to drop all nine charges against Zunar, Surendran asked for his client to be discharged following the retraction of all charges against him, reported FMT.
Fun fact: Surendran is also Zunar’s lawyer!
Agreeing to Surendran’s request, the session judge Zamri Bakar accepted and acquitted Zunar. Before this, deputy public prosecutor Noor Jazilah Mohd Yushaa also confirmed that AG Tommy Thomas has decided to withdraw the case against the cartoonist.
Ecstatic by his freedom from the lawsuits, Zunar hopes that the government (Pakatan Harapan, PH) will remove the Sedition Act from the statute book.
“Unfortunately, I have not heard of a clear commitment from the present leadership,” he said.
If you didn’t know, Zunar had pleaded not guilty to nine sedition charges that were set against him for series of tweets that allegedly insulted the judiciary following Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction in his Sodomy 2 case.
On the other hand, former MP and lawyer, Surendran has also been acquitted of his sedition charge after Zunar’s charges were dropped. Twice the treat!
On 19 August 2015, Surendran was charged with sedition for allegedly releasing a press statement entitled “Court of Appeal’s Fitnah 2 written judgement is flawed, defensive and insupportable”. Thankfully, his lawyer Latheefa Koya shared that the AG also withdrew his sedition charge against Surendran. The AG’s withdrawal of the case was further confirmed by deputy prosecutor Norinna Bahadun.
Similar to Zunar, Latheefa also requested for the court to discharge her client after the withdrawal of his case; her request was fortunately granted by the court.
Following his freedom, Surendran also thinks that the Sedition Act should be abolished because any government could use the act to end a disagreement.
He was quoted as saying,
“We must never allow PH or Barisan Nasional to tamper with our right to freedom of speech.”
He’s not wrong, you know!
On a side note, sedition cases involving Arulchelvan, Eric Paulsen, Lawrence Jeyaraj and Tamrin Ghafar will be discussed on another day.
Well, we extend our congratulations to Surendran and Zunar for their freedom, and we wish both men the best of luck in their future endeavours.
Do you think the Sedition Act should be abolished? Let us know in the comments below!
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