Human Rights Advocates Condemn Wan Ji’s Prison Sentence for Sedition

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Former Malaysian Bar president Ambiga Sreenevasan has lent her voice to the chorus of criticism over the Shah Alam High Court for enhancing the prison sentence for preacher Wan Ji Wan Hussin under the Sedition Act.

Taking to Twitter this morning, she termed the sentence as a disgrace and demanded the repeal of the draconian legislation.

Ambiga urged the Pakatan Harapan government to keep its promise to abolish the Sedition Act and not provide excuses for retaining the law, which was crafted more than seven decades ago.

“The Sedition Act has to go. As long as it is there, it will be used and misused.

Lim Huey Teng/Malaysiakini

“This is one promise Harapan cannot renege on. Stop giving lame excuses for retaining it. This sentence is a disgrace,” she said.

Yesterday, the High Court allowed the prosecution’s appeal for a stiffer sentence and increased the nine-month prison term for Wan Ji (below), imposed in 2018, to one year.

The preacher was charged under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act over a Facebook post referring to Selangor ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

After his sentence was enhanced, various quarters criticised the decision as well as the Harapan government for dragging its feet with regard to repealing the Sedition Act.

Rights group Suaram urged the Parliament Standing Committee on Rights and Gender Equality to summon Attorney-General Tommy Thomas over the continued prosecution under the Sedition Act.

DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang’s political aide Syahredzan Johan demanded an explanation from the prosecution for appealing for Wan Ji’s sentence to be enhanced, saying it ran contrary to the government’s policy on the Sedition Act.

On July 5, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad told the Dewan Rakyat that his government would only invoke the Sedition Act in extreme cases. – Malaysiakini