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Malaysian Cartoonist Zunar Charged With Nine Counts of Sedition

trialof-anwar-Z

Zunar says he will ‘draw until the last drop of ink’

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—A cartoonist known for lampooning Malaysia’s ruling coalition has been charged with nine counts of sedition over a series of tweets criticizing the country’s judiciary system. On Friday, lawyer Latheefa Koya said the charges against Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, better known as Zunar, are excessive and are aimed at silencing government critics. She says Mr. Zunar faces up to 43 years in jail if found guilty on all nine charges. The nine tweets criticizing the judiciary were posted Feb. 10 when opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim began serving a five-year prison sentence after losing his final appeal on a sodomy charge.
Malaysian political cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, better known as Zunar, played with fake handcuffs during his court case in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Malaysian political cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, better known as Zunar, played with fake handcuffs during his court case in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

“The lackeys in black robes are proud of their sentence. The rewards from the political masters must be plenty,” said one of the tweets. “Today Malaysia is seen as a country without law,” said another. Mr. Anwar’s arrest was seen by many at home and abroad as politically motivated to eliminate any threat to the ruling coalition, whose popularity has been eroding slowly since 2008 after more than five decades of dominance. Mr. Anwar and his three-member opposition alliance were seen as the most potent political threat to Prime Minister Najib Razak’s coalition.

Mr. Anwar led his alliance to unprecedented gains in 2008 elections and made further inroads in polling in 2013 when Mr. Najib’s National Front coalition won with a slimmer majority and lost the popular vote.

A defiant Mr. Zunar posted a new cartoon on Twitter after his release on bail, vowing to “draw until the last drop of ink.” The cartoon…(read more)

WSJ

1 Comment on Malaysian Cartoonist Zunar Charged With Nine Counts of Sedition

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