We strongly condemns raids against filmmaker and artist — Centre for Independent Journalism and Freedom Film Network

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JULY 2 — The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), Freedom Film Network (FFN) and partners are appalled by and strongly condemn ongoing efforts by the police to intimidate and persecute Freedom Film Network (FFN) and animator/artist, Amin Landak over the animated film, Chilli Powder and Thinner. The film illustrates the true story of a boy’s testimony of being tortured while being in police custody. FFN co-founder Anna Har and Amin went to the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman at 2.30pm today to have their statements taken in connection with the film. They finished giving their statements to the police and left Bukit Aman at about 4.10pm. Nevertheless, the police raided the FFN office and Amin’s home all the same.

A scene from animated short film ‘Chilli Powder and Thinner’. — Picture via YouTube/FreedomFilmFest
A scene from animated short film ‘Chilli Powder and Thinner’. — Picture via YouTube/FreedomFilmFest

The Malaysian police are clearly on a rampage against FFN over the animated short film, which depicts police officers torturing and abusing individuals in custody in Malaysia. This investigation, and related raid, contributes to a broader pattern of authorities attempting to quell allegations of police misconduct. Police brutality and abuse of power have been topics of heated discussion online, but authorities routinely silence such discourse by threatening individuals with a criminal investigation.

Retaliatory investigations against human rights defenders, artists and journalists for raising attention to violations of basic human rights show the dire need to protect freedom of expression and ensure police officers in Malaysia are held accountable for any instances of misconduct. The police must be open to public scrutiny and the demand for transparency, while adherence to rule of law must always be upheld. Initiating an investigation merely on the account that a particular incident negatively portrays the police is unwarranted and a serious violation of our constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression and speech.

We, therefore, call for the following measures to be adopted by the State:

●        Drop all investigations and stop all acts of intimidation and adverse actions against Anna Har, FFN, Amin Landak, whistleblowers, and others associated with the animated short film;

●        Establish the Independent Police Complaints of Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), with no further delays, so that police accountability and professionalism is always upheld.

It is incumbent on the government to ensure that they act now and not be complicit in allowing freedom of expression and speech and artistic freedom in Malaysia to be censored or penalised, and where artists and filmmakers operate within a climate of fear. If this practice is not halted, our democracy will be at threat and political priorities will continue to prevail over the public interest.

Issued by: Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) and Freedom Film Network

Endorsed by the following organisations with common interest in promoting FoE:

  • Amnesty International Malaysia
  • C4 Centre
  • Gerakan Media Merdeka (GERAMM)
  • Justice for Sisters
  • KRYSS Network
  • Sisters in Islam
  • Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
  • Agora Society Malaysia
  • Aliran
  • Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM)
  • Angkatan Mahasiswa UM
  • Association of Women Lawyers (AWL)
  • Baramkini
  • Beyond Architecture Outlet (BAO)
  • Beyond Borders Malaysia
  • Citizens against Enforced Disappearances (CAGED)
  • Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0)
  • Demokrat Kebangsaan
  • Demokrat UKM
  • Demokrat UM
  • Eliminating Deaths and Abuse in Custody (EDICT)
  • EMPOWER Malaysia
  • ENGAGE
  • Family Frontiers Malaysia
  • Five Arts Centre
  • Function 8 Singapore
  • Gerakan Mahasiswa Maju UPM
  • Jaringan Hak Asasi Manusia (JHAM)
  • Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)
  • Klima Action Malaysia (KAMY)
  • KLSCAH Youth
  • Malaysia Muda
  • North South Initiative
  • Pangrok Sulap
  • Pergerakan Tenaga Akademik Malaysia (GERAK)
  • Persatuan Kebangsaan Pelajar Islam Malaysia (PKPIM)
  • Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor dan Kuala Lumpur
  • Persatuan Sahabat Wanita, Selangor (Friends of Women Organisation, Selangor)
  • Pertubuhan Solidaritas
  • PeSAWAH
  • Projek Wawasan Rakyat (POWR)
  • Pusat KOMAS
  • Ruang Kongsi (Penang)
  • Sabah Human Rights Centre
  • Sabah Law Society Subcommittee on Human Rights
  • Sabah Reform Initiative (SARI)
  • Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
  • Society for Equality, Respect And Trust for All Sabah (SERATA)
  • Student Progressive Front UUM
  • Student Unity Front UKM
  • Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
  • Svara
  • Tenaganita
  • Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy
  • Terabai Kenyalang Heritage Association of Sarawak (TKHAS)
  • The 14 per cent Project
  • Think Centre
  • Tindak Malaysia
  • UMANY
  • Undi 18
  • Waroeng Baru
  • WITNESS

 Individuals:

  • Andrew Khoo
  • Benazir Japiril Bandaran
  • Beverly Joeman
  • Chen Yoke Pin
  • Devaruban Samalam Ruban
  • Elroi Yee
  • Farida Mohammad
  • Hui Yein
  • Janet Pillai
  • Julien Chen Lip Syn
  • Kenneth Cheng
  • Lim Kye Lee
  • Mark Teh
  • Nafeesa Mat Ali
  • Okui Lala
  • Risya
  • Sarah
  • S. M. Muthu
  • Simon Soon
  • Wong Chin Huat
  • Wong Tay Sy
  • Wong Yan Kee
  • Yolanda Augustin
  • Zaharom Nain

** This is the personal opinion of the writer or organisation and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.

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