The University of Malaya Academic Staff Union (PKAUM) and the Malaysian Academics Movement (MOVE) has expressed their objection to Universiti Malaya law professor Azmi Sharom’s prosecution in a joint statement.
“We are extremely disappointed with the use of the Sedition Act 1948 against Azmi. This is a gross violation of his academic rights, and goes against the true spirit of Article 10 on freedom of speech, assembly and association guaranteed by the Federal Constitution,” said PKAUM and MOVE.
” Therefore, in the interest of academic rights and freedom and the future of Malaysian academics and academia, PKAUM and MOVE demand that all charges against Associate Professor Azmi Sharom under the Sedition Act be dropped.”
It also added that academician’s has the rights to freedom of expression and obligations to society and the charges against Azmi violates the 1997 Unesco Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching.
Azmi claimed trial in the Sessions Court for saying that the events during the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis were “legally wrong” in an article titled “Take Perak crisis route for speedy end to Selangor impasse, Pakatan told” which was published in an online news portal on August 14.
If convicted Azmi will face a fine of not more than RM5,000, a jail term of not more than three years, or both, if found guilty. Azmi posted bail at RM5,000 while the next mention was fixed by the court on Oct 3.
Azmi’s sedition charge follows a string of cases last week where opposition lawmakers were prosecuted for sedition. They include PAS’ Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, PKR’s Padang Serai MP N. Surendran and DAP’s Seri Delima assemblyman RSN Rayer.
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