Anwar Ibrahim’s last chance for justice

05/05/2004
Report

Anwar Ibrahim, the most famous political prisoner in Malaysia, will be judged on appeal on 10 May 2004. Given the record of his judicial process so far, the FIDH and Suaram fear that his prison sentence be confirmed, in spite of a clear denial of his right to a fair trial.

Anwar Ibrahim, former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, was dismissed, arrested and subsequently tried on charges of corruption and sodomy in late 1998. According to all independent observers, both national and international, the trial was not free and fair notably in view of the apparent partiality of the judge and the intrusion of the Executive in the process. He was accused following increasing political tensions with the former Prime Minister, Mohamed Mahathir.

For the charges of corruption, Anwar Ibrahim was sentenced to of 6 years imprisonment. That sentenced was confirmed by the Federal Court in July 2002
(see http://www.fidh.org/article.php3?id_article=1025).
Anwar Ibrahim was convicted in August 2000 to a further 9 years’ imprisonment on charges of sodomy. The two sentences were ordered to run consecutively - and not concurrently, as is usual.

On 10 May 2004, the Federal Court, the highest court of Malaysia, will examine the denial of bail as well as Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction on the charge of sodomy. “This will be the last avenue and the last chance for Anwar Ibrahim to get free, after a parody of justice”, said Sidiki Kaba, President of the FIDH. “This time, the Malaysian authorities should make sure that Anwar Ibrahim benefits from the right to a fair trial”.

The Malaysian courts have regularly denied his requests for medical parole and liberation on bail. “Anwar Ibrahim has been in prison for the last five years. He needs spinal surgery. As a minimum, he should urgently be allowed to travel abroad to get the medical treatment he needs”, said Cynthia Gabriel, Executive Director of Suaram.

The FIDH and SUARAM also urge the international community to continue and raise the fate of Anwar Ibrahim with the Malaysian authorities.

Media contact :
FIDH : 00 33 1 43 55 25 18 /14 12
Suaram : 00 60 3 77843525

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