Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Anwar Ibrahim at risk of imprisonment

Malaysian opposition leader Dr Anwar Ibrahim at risk of imprisonment

After charges were brought against the Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim for alleged violations of the Peaceful Assembly Act, Dr Thomas Gambke, who supports Anwar Ibrahim as part of a special partnership under the “Parliamentarians Protect Parliamentarians” programme, has issued the following statement:

Worrying news is emerging from Malaysia. The opposition leader Dr Anwar Ibrahim and another member of the opposition have been charged with violating the Peaceful Assembly Act, a new law which severely curtails the right to demonstrate. Fears that this law would make it impossible for Anwar to be effective in his work as leader of the opposition are evidently justified. The Ma-laysian opposition is, in practice, denied access to the media, particularly television. Public ap-pearances are the only way to inform the country’s citizens about the opposition’s political aims.
This new attempt to sideline the opposition’s charismatic leader reveals a frighteningly undemo-cratic mentality on the part of the current governing party.

Background:

In January, a court was forced to acquit Dr Anwar Ibrahim of the charge of homosexuality, which is a criminal offence in Malaysia, after it became clear that he had been framed and the allega-tions could not be sustained. In the last elections in 2008, the opposition won in five of Malaysia’s thirteen states and provided the Chief Minister (head of government) in these states. It is believed that the opposition could win a sizeable majority in the forthcoming elections.


Further information is available at the following links:
Press release about Anwar’s acquittal of the charges of homosexuality (in German): http://www.t-gambke.de/cms/default/dok/400/400501.stellungnahme_der_parlamentariergruppe_a.html

Information on the election results in the Malaysian states (in German): http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/iez/05380.pdf

Dr Thomas Gambke
Member of the German Bundestag

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