Lawyers for jailed former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim have written to the government requesting his early release after having spent over two years in jail for a sodomy conviction.
“In our application, we have laid out the overwhelming reasons why Anwar Ibrahim must be released immediately.
“Among those reasons is that the UN working group on arbitrary detention on Sept 15, 2015 had declared his detention illegal and urged his release.
“Therefore his continued imprisonment damages the image and reputation of our country in the eyes of the international community.
“Malaysia is a member state of the UN, and cannot afford to ignore the categorical finding of a UN body,” said lawyers N Surendran and Latheefa Koya in a statement today.
The duo formally wrote to the home minister and the commissioner general of prisons yesterday requesting Anwar’s release under Section 43 of the Prisons Act 1995.
They reasoned the section “provides for the commissioner general to release upon licence any person serving a sentence of imprisonment”.
Surendran and Latheefa pointed out Anwar has already served over two years in prison.
His release, they said, was “crucial to ensure a proper and healthy democratic process in our country” as Anwar was the former opposition leader with “ international standing and a world-wide reputation as a progressive Muslim leader”.
“We therefore urge the home minister and commissioner-general to act expeditiously and order Anwar’s release without any further delay.”
Anwar was jailed in February 2015 after the Federal Court upheld a Court of Appeal ruling that overturned his initial acquittal in the high profile Sodomy II case.
He was sentenced to five years in jail just before the Kajang by-election, which Anwar had intended to contest.
Source : @ Malaysiakini