Malaysia: Crackdown on independent voices must end

ARTICLE 19 calls on the Malaysian government to restore respect for freedom of expression as the crackdown on independent media, whistleblowers and protesters intensifies following high-level corruption allegations.

Blocking of the website “Sarawak Report” and the harassment of its journalists, the suspension of two other news outlets, and the arrests of protesters must be immediately remedied.

“The ‘Sarawak Report’ website has blown the whistle on a corruption scandal which is wholly in the public interest.The disclosures raise questions of serious wrongdoing which the Malaysian government must answer and not suppress,” said Thomas Hughes, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19.

“Other media bringing these reports to attention, or citizens reacting to them through protest, should have their rights protected and not face censure. By targeting the messenger, and attempting to silence dissent rather than dealing with the substance of the revelations, the Malaysian authorities are displaying the utmost contempt for international freedom of expression standards,” Hughes added.