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Malaysian cartoonist arrested over comic book

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

Police officials could not be immediately reached for

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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