Interpol Asked To Clarify If Red Notice Is Out For Sarawak Report Editor
Fourteen civil society organisations claim that there has been a “misuse of systems” by the Malaysian government. (AFP pic)PETALING JAYA: International civil society has urged Interpol to clarify if a Red Notice or Diffusion has been issued against Sarawak Report editor, Clare Rewcastle Brown after the Malaysian government issued an arrest warrant against her for criminal defamation.
In a statement signed by 14 human rights and free speech organisations, including Article 19 and Blueprint for Free Speech, they feared that Rewcastle Brown could be arrested when she travels to Spain later this week for a personal family visit.
They also urged Interpol to take a stand against what they described as a “misuse of systems” by the Malaysian government, adding that she could be held in detention and face extradition to Malaysia.
Last week, a warrant of arrest was issued against Rewcastle Brown in Kuala Terengganu for failing to appear in court to face a charge of defaming the Sultanah of the state, Sultanah Nur Zahirah.
Magistrate Nordiana Abd Aziz issued the warrant following an application by the prosecution.
Rewcastle Brown was supposed to be present in court to face a charge under Section 500 of the Penal Code for making disparaging statements about Sultanah Nur Zahirah in her book, The Sarawak Report – The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose.
The organisations expressed serious concerns that the Malaysia National Central Bureau might be trying to use Interpol to judicially harass the journalist.
In the statement, Rewcastle Brown has said that she was concerned that the same actors who tried to abuse Interpol by having her arrested as a terrorist in 2015 may attempt to file another Interpol Red Notice alert with the aim of having her detained anywhere in the world.
She said the Malaysian government was seeking to paint her as a criminal for exposing corruption and were using a claim of “criminal libel”, which is not a crime that exists in the UK.
Meanwhile, Bruno Min, legal director at NGO Fair Trials urged Interpol to send a message that it will not tolerate the misuse of the body as a tool of oppression.
Sarah Clarke from Article 19 similarly said the security organisation must also recognise this as a “vexatious act of intimidation”. -FMT
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