Although Lawyers for Liberty welcomes part of the High Court’s decision today in ruling that the seizure of 66 copies of Zunar’s “Cartoon-o-phobia” political cartoon books and a collage depicting the Prime Minister and his wife was unlawful and a clear violation of Zunar’s right to livelihood as protected by Article 5 of the Federal Constitution, it is nonetheless extremely disappointed and concerned that the court went on to rule that the arrest and detention of Zunar under the Sedition Act 1948 and the Printing, Presses and Publications Act 1984 were lawful.
The High Court has failed to look objectively into the facts surrounding Zunar’s arrest and detention which clearly showed mala fide on the part of the police and the government in sabotaging Zunar’s book launch which was scheduled on the night of the arrest; the reasons why Zunar had to be arrested and detained even though copies of his books had been seized; that the police had not seen or deliberated on the content of the book prior to the arrest; police failure to record Zunar’s statement immediately after arrest and instead bringing him to seven different police stations and only recorded his statement on the next day – all acts calculated to disrupt the book launch or prevent Zunar from attending.
The High Court instead of checking the power excesses and abuses perpetrated under the archaic and oppressive seditious and printing laws has once again failed to uphold fundamental liberties and had allowed the authorities to carry on abusing the laws in protecting the interests of the government.
Released by Lawyers For Liberty
31 July 2012