Malaysian artist charged for de­pict­ing PM as clown

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

KUALA LUMPUR—A Malaysian graphic artist was charged on Mon­day with vi­o­lat­ing mul­ti­me­dia laws by car­i­ca­tur­ing Prime Min­is­ter Na­jib Razak as a sin­is­ter clown to protest at al­le­ga­tions of mas­sive cor­rup­tion.

Fahmi Reza’s de­pic­tions of Na­jib went vi­ral ear­lier this year, and posters and stick­ers bear­ing the images have also ap­peared in pub­lic places, earn­ing the de­signer-ac­tivist com­par­isons to street-art provo­ca­teurs like Banksy.

He was charged un­der a section of Malaysian com­mu­ni­ca­tions and mul­ti­me­dia laws that for­bid dis­sem­i­nat­ing on­line con­tent deemed to “an­noy, abuse, threaten, or ha­rass” others.

Fahmi, 38, faces a pos­si­ble one-year prison sen­tence and 50,000 ring­git ($12,200) fine, said his at­tor­ney, Syahredzan Jo­han. “This is es­sen­tially crim­i­nal­is­ing (free) ex­pres­sion,” said Syahredzan.

Fahmi pleaded not guilty af­ter the charge was read out in court. Syahredzan said po­lice were also in­ves­ti­gat­ing him for sedi­tion. In a Face­book post­ing Mon­day, Fahmi vowed to “de­fend my rights to crit­i­cise the cor­rupt rulers by us­ing art as a weapon”.—Agen­cies

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.