Liberal International

LI President condemns the new politically motivated process against Anwar Ibrahim

Liberal International , dinsdag 29 mei 2012

LI President Hans van Baalen MEP has condemned the recent charges brought against Anwar Ibrahim, Leader of the Opposition in Malaysia and of the People Justice Party (LI observer member party), for “violating a public assembly law” and for “disobeying a court order” during an electoral reform rally which ended in chaos after police fired teargas and water cannon into crowds on 28 April 2012.

“The international community had it eyes on focused South East Asia in the past few months following the positive democratic opening of Burma and the election of Aung San Suu Kyi in the Burmese parliament. Instead of having even more encouraging messages from the region, Malaysia has sent a message of regress. It became a habit of the current Malaysian government to make one step forward and two steps back in introducing greater freedoms and real democracy in the country. The latest harassment of the leader of the opposition Anwar Ibrahim is unacceptable and raises serious concerns ahead of the next general elections”, said LI President Hans van Baalen MEP.

He continued: “I know Anwar Ibrahim very well. We have met in several occasions in Kuala Lumpur and at Liberal International events. He is a decent man, who believes in freedom for all, democracy and justice. The latest charges against him are politically motivated, and he is not a problem. The problem is the legislation that the government of Malaysia has to amend, allowing its citizens freedom of assemble and voice out their opinion. The problem is the lack of understanding by the Malaysian government that the opposition should be included in building the Malaysian democracy and not harassed or demonised.”

LI President Hans van Baalen concluded: “I express my full support to Anwar Ibrahim in this new legal struggle imposed on him by the Malaysian authorities. And on behalf of Liberal International I voice again our clear support to our members in Malaysia Gerakan and PKR, which consistently fight for introduction of more civil rights and liberties in their country”.

Note for the Editors:
The charges filed Tuesday against Anwar Ibrahim come just four months after he was acquitted of sodomy charges that he claims were an attempt to damage him politically. He said the new accusations, ahead of national elections that many speculate will be held by September, have the same motive.
Anwar Ibrahim was a key note speaker at the LI Congress in Cairo in 2009, and leads the People’s Justice Party (PKR) that is LI Observer Members.
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