Press statement
Sedition investigation against Noor Farida is shameful and outrageous
18 December 2015

Lawyers for Liberty is outraged at the latest sedition investigation against G25 spokesperson Noor Farida, for her call for legal reform of the Syariah laws concerning khalwat (close proximity).

The sedition investigation on Noor Farida is a clear example of the vague and indiscriminate nature of the Act, which allows the authorities to arbitrarily interpret anything remotely contentious as seditious, thus allowing them to clamp down on critical, dissenting opinion. Calling for legal reform should never under any circumstances be considered as seditious.

To add insult to injury, the decision to investigate Noor Farida for sedition is a shameful, stark contrast to the authorities’ lack of interest in the threat of sexual assault made against her by Shahrul Nizam Ab Rahim on Facebook last week.

The authorities’ decision to investigate Noor Farida for her remarks instead of Shahrul Nizam’s sexual assault threat, shockingly perverts and mocks the notion (constantly mooted by the government) that the Sedition Act is ‘needed’ to protect the nation’s peace and harmony. This is because the investigation would now be used by her detractors to “legitimise” a public campaign of harassment and threats against her.

The Sedition Act stifles freedom of speech and perpetuates a climate of fear among outspoken Malaysians. Moreover, the continuous double standards created by the misuse of the Act entrenches inflammatory speeches made by pro-government personalities, while limiting democratic space for others.

This perverse, antiquated piece of legislation has no place in modern and democratic Malaysia. We call for the sedition investigation against Noor Farida to be dropped immediately.

Released by:
Michelle Yesudas
Legal/Campaign Coordinator
Lawyers for Liberty

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