All posts by ayresfreitas

Group 39 Focus Case Update (Zunar)

Good news! After the recent election that ushered in a new government in Malaysia, there are signs of hope:

The travel ban that has been imposed on Zunar in October 2016 was lifted (read more). Zunar, a political cartoonist whose full name is Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, has critized the government under previous prime minister Najib Razak for many years. In what appeared to be an effort so silence a critical voice, he has faced harassment, publishing bans, and criminal charges by government forces. Now that the travel ban has been removed, the publishing bans and charges under the Sedition Act (with a potential penalty of 43 years) still are unresolved.

More information about the election results and Zunar’s reflection on them:
“Understanding Malaysia’s political earthquake”
“Hopes for new era of Malaysian free speech…”
“I miss Rosmah, says cartoonist Zunar”

2017 Annual Human Rights Festival and Write-a-thon

Download poster/flyer

Join Amnesty International Pittsburgh (group 39) and many other inspiring Pittsburgh rights groups and community leaders on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 for our annual Write-a-thon and Human Rights Festival.

Held from 6-9 pm at Calvary Episcopal Church, this year marks the 31st annual gathering, during which you contribute to writing between 500 and 1000 letters on important human rights cases of our time.

Stop in and stay as long as you can. Write letters. Talk to other activists. Check out information tables about local groups working in Pittsburgh on local, national and international issues. Fortify yourself with the free refreshments.

Candlelight Ceremony and City Council Proclamation at 7:30 pm.


Group 39 Focus Case Update (Zunar)

Political cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, known as Zunar, faces nine charges under the Malaysian Sedition Act for tweets with political content he sent. The charges could carry a potential penalty of 43 years in prison. Furthermore, five of his books have been banned on the grounds that they are “detrimental to the public order.” After being arrested in 2016, Zunar has been released on bail while awaiting his court date.

In addition, a travel ban has been imposed on Zunar in October 2016 without justification. He has challenged the ban and his case is scheduled to be heard by the High Court on 16 November 2017. [Statement by Amnesty International on travel bans]

In September 2017, the U.N. Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural studies, Karima Bennoune, visited Malaysia. In her preliminary report after the visit, she raises the issue of the Sedition Act charges and travel ban against Zunar and calls for both to be dropped.