Nine charges of sedition against Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar (real name Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque) were dropped following the country’s recent change in government, AFP reported on 30 July.
Zunar often criticised former prime minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor. During Razak’s nine years in the top job, Zunar was repeatedly targeted by the government through office raids, book bans and a travel ban.
In April 2015, the cartoonist was charged with nine counts of sedition for allegedly insulting Razak in tweets about the controversial jailing of then opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy, which is illegal in Muslim-majority Malaysia. The charges against Zunar carried a maximum 43 year jail sentence.
But on 30 July 2018, the charges were withdrawn and he was acquitted by Judge Zamri Bakar at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court, reported Free Malaysia Today.
Zunar told AFP he was happy with the decision, but would not be “absolutely happy until the government abolishes the Sedition Act”.
Since losing the general election in May, Razak has been charged with corruption over the multi-billion-dollar 1Malaylsia Development Berhad (1MDB) political scandal.
Read more about Zunar’s history of persecution here.