The Centre for Independent Journalism is a non-profit organisation promoting media independence and freedom of expression in Malaysia.
THE Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), Freedom Film Network (FFN) and partners are strongly condemning the ongoing efforts of the authorities in intimidating and persecuting FFN and its animator/artist, Amin Landak over the animated film “Chilli Powder and Thinner”.
The animated short film depicts some Malaysian police officers torturing and abusing individuals in custody. As police brutality and abuse of power have been among the hot topics on line recently, CIJ pointed out that the authorities are ‘routinely silencing such discourse by threatening individuals with a criminal investigation.
As such, FFN co-founder Anna Har and Amin went to the federal police headquarters on Bukit Aman at 2.30pm yesterday to have their statements taken in connection with the film, and the FFN office, along with Amin’s home were raided.
“This investigation and the raid contributed to a broader pattern of authorities attempting to quell allegations of police misconduct,” CIJ stated in a joined statement with FFN that was released yesterday.
“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,” it added.
CIJ believes that the authorities must be open to public scrutiny and the demand for transparency while adhering to the rule of law.
With that, CIJ, FFN and its partners are calling for the following measures to be adopted by the State:
“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,” it concluded.
Source: Focus Malaysia