Malaysian cartoonist arrested over comic book
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Last Updated: Friday, September 24, 2010, 18:50
Kuala Lumpur: A Malaysian political cartoonist said on Friday he had been arrested under the Sedition Act and his offices raided by police over his new book, just hours before its planned launch.

Zulkifli Anwar Ulhaque -- better known as Zunar -- uses cartoons to highlight contentious issues such as the sodomy trial of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and police shootings.

Zunar said police seized 70 copies of his latest book, called "Cartoon-O-Phobia", at his home and held him ahead of its scheduled launch this evening.

"Police came and raided my office in the afternoon... now they said I am arrested under the Sedition Act," he told AFP by telephone while in custody at a police station.

"They say my new book is seditious. Certainly this is intimidation of cartoonists," he said, adding that police had not told him which cartoon in the book was considered seditious.

Police officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

In July, Zunar launched a legal battle against the government in a bid to lift a ban on two earlier comic books which authorities said threatened public order.

"The raid at his office and his arrest only go to prove that the authorities are cartoon-phobic," said Steven Gan, chief editor of online news portal Malaysiakini, the publisher of "Cartoon-O-Phobia" and some of Zunar's earlier books.


First Published: Friday, September 24, 2010, 18:50

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