Cancelling Suspension Against The Edge A Welcome Move for Freedom of Expression
21 September 2015 – Amnesty International Malaysia welcomes the decision by the High Court today to revoke the three-month suspension of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily.
“Governments have often used ‘national security’ as an excuse to stifle criticism. The revocation of the suspension is indeed a step in the right direction in upholding media freedom, specifically, and the freedom of expression in general, in Malaysia,”
- AI Malaysia Executive Director Shamini Darshni -
The High Court today found that the Home Minister’s decision to suspend The Edge’s publications was illegal and ultra vires, and unconstitutional as it was in breach of Section 7 (1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.
“While Amnesty International Malaysia applauds the High Court on its decision, The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily should not have been suspended in the first place. The way in which the Printing Presses and Publications Act has been used against The Edge seems to point towards attacks on media freedom.”
Recent reports of mandatory registration of online news portals under the Communications and Multimedia Ministry would also pose a challenge to media freedom.“Governments often pay lip service to ‘free speech’, but in reality it is not so free.
Across the world, individuals or organisations are persecuted for speaking out, but westand firm in our belief that the press must be allowed to seek information, to share it, and to report matters of public interest without any fear or favour,” Shamini said, adding that persecution and threats against journalists have increased globally.
“We urge the Malaysian government to protect media freedom as a pillar of democracy and call on it to stop attacking dissenting voices and instead create and protect rights spaces for its citizens,” Shamini said.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organisationwith more than 7 million members in more than 150 countries campaigning forhuman rights worldwide. The organisation investigates and exposes abuses,educates and mobilises the public, and works to protect people wherever justice,freedom, truth and dignity are denied.