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Thursday, January 5, 2017

'Clown Najib' artist Fahmi not allowed to travel overseas



Artist Fahmi Reza, famed for his caricature of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak as a clown,
is on the immigration blacklist.
He found out after checking with the Immigration Department, in preparation for a trip to Taiwan next week.
He is scheduled to speak on his work in protest art at an event organised by the Green Citizens' Action Alliance.
He said the Immigration Department informed him he had been barred from overseas travel since March 31, 2016.
"I thought this must be because of the clown caricature, there could not be any other case. I posted that picture (online) on Jan 31, 2016, I was investigated and gave a statement to police on Feb 28, 2016. There cannot be any other case," he wrote in a Facebook posting.
Checks with the case investigating officer at Bukit Aman found that his name might have been blacklisted because he was listed as a "wanted" person, when he was investigated under Section 233 of the Communications Act for a Twitter posting which allegedly insulted the prime minister.
"I don't understand why. I cooperate with police every time I have been called and I have gone up and down the court house several times last year because I was charged over that clown caricature.
"Both these cases will go to trial this year and I was arrested twice last year because of the same drawing. So why do they now need to bar me from going overseas?" he asked.
He said he will meet with the police investigating officer to seek that his name be dropped from the "wanted" list so he can travel overseas.
"The organiser in Taiwan has already purchased my ticket to Taipei to depart next Monday and my accommodation has been booked. If I fail (to get off the blacklist) that would be for nothing," he said.

Fahmi was originally charged over the caricature of Najib at the Sessions Court in Ipoh on June 6. His case was later transferred to the Kuala Lumpur Cyber Court.
If convicted under Section 233, Fahmi can be fined up to RM50,000 or jailed up to a year or both.
He has since applied in the High Court to have his charge struck out on the grounds that his freedom of expression, enshrined under the Federal Constitution, had been infringed.- Mkini

1 comment:

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