International Support for the Release of Anwar Ibrahim


  • “In Malaysia, democratic space continues to be limited, with the Government applying ‘sedition’ and other charges to an ever-widening circle of journalists, human rights defenders, political opponents and critical voices. The enactment of the Prevention of Terrorist Act and the National Security Council Act, without proper human rights safeguards, and without transparent and consultative process, is also a matter of concern. The imprisonment of a former opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim – whose detention has been ruled arbitrary by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention – is emblematic of a broader democratic malaise.” – Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • “The conviction and sentencing of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim raises serious questions regarding due process of law. The European Union regards Malaysia as a key political and economic partner in South East Asia. In that spirit of partnership, the EU wishes to underscore that trust in the administration of justice is an essential component of the democratic process.” – Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
  • “The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is dismayed over the ruling handed down today by Malaysia’s Federal Court to uphold a sodomy conviction against opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. This is the second time that Anwar Ibrahim will serve a prison term on sodomy charges in a country where such charges are very uncommon. ‘This decision based on flawed judicial proceedings is not only a blow to Mr. Anwar personally, but also to Malaysia’s democracy.’” – Ann Clwyd, MP and President of Inter-Parliamentary Union’s Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians
  • “This is a deplorable judgment, and just the latest chapter in the Malaysian authorities’ relentless attempts to silence government critics. The ‘sodomy’ charges against Anwar Ibrahim have always been politically motivated, and he should be released immediately …We consider Anwar Ibrahim to be a prisoner of conscience – jailed solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.” – Richard Bennett, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Director
  • “The conviction of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim after seven years of politically motivated proceedings under an abusive and archaic law is a major setback for human rights in Malaysia. ‘[The] government has persisted in its politically motivated prosecution of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim at the expense of democratic freedoms and the rights to non-discrimination and privacy for all Malaysians. Allowing this travesty of justice to stand will further undermine respect for rights and democracy in Malaysia’” – Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch Deputy Asia Director
  • “It is clear from the decision of the Federal Court today that the Government of Malaysia has once again inappropriately used Section 377B of the Penal Code against its political opponents. This is deplorable, especially since Section 377B criminalizes consensual same-sex relations and thereby violates a range of international law and standards, including on the rights to privacy, non-discrimination and equal protection.” – Justice Elizabeth Evatt, Commissioner of the International Committee of Jurists
  • “We, the undersigned human rights organizations, stand in solidarity with Anwar Ibrahim, condemn the politically motivated charges and trial that led to his imprisonment, and call for his immediate and unconditional release.” – The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Amnesty International, ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), and Others
  • “The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union … fears that Mr. Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction, which precluded him from participating in parliamentary life for more than a decade, … may be based on considerations other than legal; … is deeply concerned that Mr. Anwar Ibrahim may not be receiving the treatment he needs in an effective and timely manner; [and] calls on the authorities to do everything possible to address this situation” – Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union
  • “Malaysia’s conviction of Anwar Ibrahim was politically motivated, and he’s already suffered through a year in prison from this travesty of justice. Every day that Anwar is behind bars, confidence in the Malaysian justice system further erodes. The government should release Anwar and repeal the country’s abusive and archaic sodomy laws.” – Phil Robertson, Deputy Asia Director, Human Rights Watch
  • “The Malaysian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who has now spent a year in prison on politically motivated charges. Amnesty International regards Anwar Ibrahim as a prisoner of conscience, who has been targeted solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.” – Amnesty International
  • “Anwar’s incarceration at Sungai Buloh prison remains a huge stain on Malaysia’s international reputation. Every additional day Anwar is kept behind bars, is a grim reminder on how far Malaysia has fallen, how undemocratic and oppressive the government has become towards its political adversaries.” – Lawyers for Liberty
  • “It’s time the authorities put an end to the persecution of Anwar Ibrahim and immediately and unconditionally release him. Any additional day Anwar spends behind bars is one more day of shame for the Malaysian government and further tarnishes its battered reputation.” – Karim Lahidji, President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
  • “Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemns the continued detention of Anwar Ibrahim and call[s] for his immediate and unconditional release.” – Sevan Doraisamy, Executive Director of Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
  • “Abim demands that Anwar Ibrahim be released immediately and validly through legal means and vindicated from all convictions …” – Mohamad Raimi Rahim, President of the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim)
  • “The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and its member, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM), call for the immediate and unconditional release of Anwar Ibrahim, opposition leader and former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia. The sodomy charges against him were politically motivated and are a stark reminder of the deteriorating democracy in Malaysia.” – The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
  • “In February, the Federal Court upheld the conviction and five-year prison sentence of opposition leader and prisoner of conscience Anwar Ibrahim on sodomy charges dating to 2008. The charges were seen as politically motivated and an attempt to silence government critics” – Amnesty International
  • Considers that, in light of the procedural irregularities, the serious doubts about the credibility of the evidence present against Mr. Anwar Ibrahim, the dubious circumstances surrounding the alleged sodomy and the new information that has since come to light in support of the affirmation that his trial was based on other-than-legal considerations, his conviction and continued detention are untenable…Calls therefore on the authorities to release Mr. Anwar Ibrahim forthwith and to take the necessary measures to enable him to return to parliamentary life.” – Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)