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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Zunar's arrest lawful, rules court

The Kuala Lumpur High Court has held that the arrest and detention of political cartoonist Zunar in 2011 was lawful, but that the continued confiscation of his books and artwork is unwarranted.
As such, Justice Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera today ordered that the cartoonist’s works be returned.

NONEHe also ordered the court registrar to determine the quantum of damages payable to Zunar, whose real name is Zulkiflee SM Anwar Ulhaque. No order was made as to costs.
The judge said arresting officer Arikrishna Apparau and investigating officer Marina Hashim had the power to arrest Zunar under Section 20 of the Printing Press and Publications Act and to seize his works under Section 11 of the Sedition Act.
He noted, however, that it would have only required a “simple determination” to arrive at a decision on whether the confiscated materials are seditious or not. Hence, continued retention of the materials is unwarranted.
Zunar was arrested on Sept 24, 2010 during a raid at his office in Brickfields in Kuala Lumpur, just hours before he was supposed to launch his book ‘Cartoon-o-phobia’.

The items seized include 66 copies of the book an A2-size caricature featuring the Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor.
[More to follow]

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