Hornbill Unleashed

March 24, 2017

Bersih: Hew’s arrest over FB posting against freedom of speech

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

super-man_bersih_600Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 has condemned the arrest of Hew Kuan Yau as being out of sync with the freedom of speech guaranteed under the Federal Constitution.

Although the former DAP member has been released on police bail, Bersih said he should not have been arrested in the first place.

“Hew’s arrest is the latest selective action taken against mere Facebook postings deemed to be against certain parties, which are unnecessary punitive measures,” it said in a statement today.

Hew, also known as “Superman”, was arrested on Monday for a comment on his Facebook page allegedly comparing the prime minister and his wife to the title characters in the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast.

He was released earlier today after the three-day remand order against him expired.

His post is being investigated under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act for improper use of network facilities or network service. The section carries a maximum RM50,000 fine and a jail term not exceeding a year.

Although Bersih “strongly disagreed” with the tone and vulgarity of the post, it said Hew had the right to express his opinions without fear of punishment.

“Freedom of speech is an important and healthy aspect of a democratic society, where differing views should be encouraged as a check and balance to the system.”

It urged the authorities to stop penalising citizens for exercising their freedom of expression guaranteed under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution, adding that they should focus on more serious crimes.

“Bersih 2.0 trusts that our leaders’ egos are not so fragile that the police have to act as bodyguards of their image,” it said.

Source : @ FMT Online


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