Wednesday 18 March 2015

EU sends curt message on Nurul’s detention

EU points out that freedom of expression and independence of the judiciary are essential features of a democratic system and must be upheld.

KUALA LUMPUR: The delegation of the European Union to Malaysia has weighed in on the recent arrest and remand of PKR’s vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar and has reminded Putrajaya that freedom of expression is an important aspect of democracy and must be upheld.

In a statement issued today, the EU High Representative’s Spokesperson said they had been closely following the developments leading up to the arrest and overnight detention of Nurul.

They were most likely referring to the police having recorded Nurul’s statement over the #KitaLawan rally held to protest the imprisonment of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, which the police had declared illegal.

Later Nurul, who is also MP for Lembah Pantai, was detained overnight, this time to facilitate investigations on sedition, for delivering a speech in Parliament last week on behalf of her father Anwar, who was denied permission to attend Parliament.

“Freedom of expression, as well as independence of the judiciary and the rule of law, are essential features of a democratic system and need to be upheld.
“Trust in the administration of justice is a key element of a democratic society,” the curt message from the EU read.

Last night, the US State Department issued a statement expressing their deep concern over the detention of Nurul for sedition, saying the Malaysian government’s recent investigations and sedition charges against critics who voiced their opinions regarding the government, raised concerns over the country’s freedom of expression, rule of law, and the independence of Malaysia’s judicial system.

The US also warned that restricting the citizens’ freedom of expression would only lead to the further erosion of “important pillars of Malaysia’s democratic system”.

Forbes Online’s editorial, also featured a piece by Chris Wright, which also condemned Nurul’s arrest, saying that “under Malaysian law, (she) should have been immune from prosecution”. (Free  Malaysia Today)

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