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Academic Commentary
14 May 2015
by Roy S. Gutterman of S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

JURIST guest columnist Roy S. Gutterman of the Syracuse University College of Law discusses recent changes to Malaysian sedition law...Sedition, laws criminalizing criticism of a monarchy or government, is not as anachronistic as knights in shining armor or a moat around the castle. In fact, in many countries around the … [read more]


Legal News
10 Apr 2015
by Taylor Brailey

[JURIST] The Parliament of Malaysia [official website, in Malay] on Friday announced a change to the country's sedition law, which will strengthen government intervention upon seditious activity. Malaysia's original sedition law [BBC backgrounder] banned acts and speech expressing contempt against the government or any of Malaysia's royal sultans and called … [read more]


Legal News
10 Apr 2015
by Brittany Felder

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein [official profile] on Thursday criticized Malaysia's proposed anti-terrorism law [press release], known as the Prevention of Terrorism Act [Malaysian Insider report]. Zeid said that the proposed law threatens freedom of expression and would breach international human rights obligations. The … [read more]


Legal News
3 Apr 2015
by Ashley Hogan

[JURIST] A Malaysian cartoonist known for his political caricatures was charged Friday with nine counts of sedition over a series of tweets criticizing the country's judiciary. Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, popularly referred to as Zunar, could be sentenced [AP report] to up to 43 years in jail if found guilty on … [read more]


Legal News
31 Mar 2015
by Alison Sacriponte

[JURIST] The Malaysian government on Monday proposed two laws that would reintroduce indefinite detention without trial and allow the seizure of passports of anyone suspected of supporting acts of terror. While the government hopes to curb Islamic militant activities, critics say the laws could restrict civil liberties [News24 report]. The … [read more]


Legal News
16 Mar 2015
by William Helbling

[JURIST] Malaysia officials on Monday arrested the daughter of jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] for alleged acts of sedition. Lawmaker Nurul Izzah Anwar was reportedly arrested and detained specifically for a speech she made last week criticizing the jailing of her father. Anwar Ibrahim's conviction … [read more]


Legal News
5 Feb 2015
by Colleen Mallick

[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Thursday demanded that the Malaysian government drop sedition charges against Eric Paulsen. The human rights lawyer and co-founder of NGO Lawyers for Liberty [advocacy website] was arrested for a tweet criticizing an Islamic state agency. Paulsen could face up to three years in … [read more]


Legal News
27 Oct 2014
by Taylor Gillan

[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Monday urged [press release] Malaysian authorities to end their politically motivated criminalization of government critics. The country's Sedition Act of 1948 [text, PDF], a law that limits freedom of speech and expression, has been used increasingly by the Malaysian government to persecute activists … [read more]


Legal News
16 Oct 2014
by Elizabeth LaForgia

[JURIST] Shiite muslim cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr was convicted Wednesday of sedition and other charges in Saudi Arabia's Specialized Criminal Court and sentenced to death, raising fears of unrest from his supporters in neighboring Bahrain. Al-Nimr has been a vocal critic of the majority Sunni government in Saudi Arabia and … [read more]


Legal News
9 Oct 2014
by Colleen Mallick

[JURIST] A group of independent experts from the UN Human Rights Council once again urged the Malaysian government on Wednesday to abolish [press release] the Sedition Act of 1948 after receiving reports of increasing criminalization of government critics. UN Human Rights Council experts claim that they have received reports of … [read more]


Legal News
17 Sep 2014
by Taylor Gillan

[JURIST] The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] on Wednesday called on Malaysian authorities [statement] to cease arrests and prosecutions under the country's 1948 Sedition Act, a law that limits free speech and freedom of expression. Rupert Colville, OHCHR spokesperson, expressed concern about the … [read more]


Legal News
2 Sep 2014
by Alison Sacriponte

[JURIST] Malaysian prosecutors charged University of Malay law professor Azmi Sharom with sedition on Tuesday for his opinion on a political crisis that occurred five years ago. Sharom voiced his opinion in an article [news article] published August 14 by The Malay Mail Online, in which he stated that the … [read more]


Legal News
20 Aug 2014
by Ann Schober

[JURIST] The lawyer representing Anwar Ibrahim [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], the leader of Malaysia's strongest governmental opposition group [party website, in Malay], was charged [Malaysia Star report, in English] with sedition on Tuesday because of a written statement he issued acting as Anwar's legal counsel. N Suredran, was released … [read more]


Legal News
2 Feb 2014
by Bradley McAllister

[JURIST] Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz [official profile] ratified a new counterterrorism law that goes into effect Sunday in the Arab nation, drawing criticism from human rights groups who argue the law unduly restricts free speech. The law [AP report] is composed of 41 articles, and it states that … [read more]


Legal News
31 Dec 2013
by Bradley McAllister

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [official website] on Tuesday urged [press release] King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz [official profile] of Saudi Arabia to reject the country's recently-passed counterterrorism law. HRW alleged that the law's definition of terrorism is overly broad, and will impose unfair restrictions on free speech and unduly criminalize … [read more]


Legal News
3 Oct 2013
by Lauren Laing

[JURIST] Malaysia's proposed amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 [text, PDF], which would reinstate detention without trial for certain individuals with criminal histories, are a "huge step backwards," Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] said [press release] Wednesday. HRW said that the amendments would allow detention for up … [read more]


Legal News
30 Jun 2013
by Addison Morris

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] urged [press release] European Union's High Representative Catherine Ashton [official profile] and other EU [official website] member states' representatives to condemn Saudi Arabia for recently convicting seven governmental critics of inciting protests through Facebook. The men were detained for a year and a … [read more]


Legal News
26 Jun 2013
by Laura Klein Mullen

[JURIST] A Saudi Arabian court on Monday sentenced human rights activist Abdulkarim al-Khader to eight years in prison for sedition. Abdulkarim al-Khader was one of the founders of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA) [advocacy website in Arabic], which aimed to increase awareness of civil rights in the … [read more]


Legal News
23 May 2013
by Julie Deisher-Edwards

[JURIST] The Malaysian Ministry of Home Affairs [official website, in Malay] on Thursday seized [press release, in Malay] more than 2,500 copies of newspapers published by opposition parties. The Ministry states that the seized newspapers were sold in violation of their publication licenses, which limit the distribution of opposition party … [read more]


Legal News
10 Mar 2013
by Cynthia Miley

[JURIST] A Saudi Arabian criminal court in Riyadh on Saturday sentenced two Saudi Arabian human rights activists on to at least 10 years in prison. The activists were found guilty [CNN report] earlier that day of sedition, providing foreign media with inaccurate information, founding and operating an unlicensed human rights … [read more]

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