The Federal Court verdict to reject Anwar Ibrahim's final appeal against his sodomy conviction raises concerns of political interference in the judiciary, said human rights NGO Amnesty International.
The PKR de facto leader is serving a five-year sentence after being convicted of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, a charge Anwar continues to deny.
“The decision to continue the incarceration of Anwar is a final blow to his bid for freedom and raises concerns about the Malaysian judiciary’s independence from political interference.
“The politically-motivated persecution of Anwar, who was convicted on trumped up charges of ‘sodomy’ after an unfair trial, is part of a wider crackdown by the Malaysian government to brazenly silence government critics and dissidents at all costs.
“Anwar is a prisoner of conscience, jailed solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression, and he must be immediately and unconditionally released,” Amnesty International deputy director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific Josef Benedict said in a statement.
The criminalisation of consensual sexual activity between adults is also contrary to international human rights law, he added.
Anwar was convicted under Section 377B, which deals with "committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature".
It denotes consent, as opposed to Section 377C, which punishes the act done without consent.- Mkini