Press Statement: Release C4 Coordinator K Sudhagaran Stanley Now!

 

Press Statement

21 July 2020

 

Release C4 Coordinator K Sudhagaran Stanley Now!

 

The Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center) is shocked to learn that its coordinator (part time) K Sudhagaran Stanley has been arrested for posting comments on his personal Facebook page in relation to the defaced murals.

 

We have been informed that K Sudhagaran Stanley was arrested by the police last night in his hometown, Penang at about 10pm and he is now being detained at the IPD Timur Laut.

 

His lawyer informed us that he is being investigated under section 4(1) of the Sedition Act, section 505 (b) of the Penal Code and section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.

 

We are deeply worried for his safety and wellbeing.

 

It’s important to note that the police could have issued a notice requesting that he be present at the police station for a statement to be taken instead of arresting him at night. We believe he would have offered his fullest cooperation.

 

The arrest, especially in the late hours of the night, is chilling and clearly aimed at instilling fear and silencing voices that are critical of the administration of this country.

 

While the comments on his Facebook page are entirely his own personal opinion on public interest issues, we remain exteremly  disturbed  at the fast swallowing space to express, opine and disagree with the powers that be of this Perikatan Nasional government.

 

The heightened police investigations on  human rights and anti-corruption advocates for expressing dissent in relation to matters concerning public interest, have become a cause of great concern.

 

While the government has a right to disagree and object to many such comments, it would place itself in higher stead if it embraces  the importance of critical thinking while balancing and safeguarding the right to freedom of expression and promoting a robust civil society.

 

This is key to ensuring that the government operates with high accountability and transparency.

 

The act of critical expression is a way of protecting the pillars of a democracy and therefore should be protected and not be treated as a crime.

 

In light of the foregoing, C4 Center urges:

 

  1. Sudhagaran Stanley be immediately released
  2. The investigation against  Sudhagaran Stanley be immediately dropped

 

 

Released by:

 

C4 Center