December 30, 2014 by Suara Kebenaran
KUALA LUMPUR: The Court of Appeal on Tuesday upheld a lower court’s decision that Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) was wrong in raiding and seizing copies of a controversial book, Allah, Liberty and Love, by Canadian writer Irshad Manji,
from a Borders bookstore.
Jawi’s actions, deemed illegal and unconstitutional, came before a fatwa banning the book was issued.
A three-man bench, led by Mah Weng Kwai, also held that Jawi’s actions against the Borders store manager, Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz, were unconstitutional and illegal and said her arrest and prosecution must be quashed.
“Jawi had acted beyond their powers against Nik Raina (third respondent) and the bookstore,” said Mah.
Human Rights Watch takes JAWI to task on Borders case
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) in New York has criticized JAWI for not respecting the Court and the rule of law involving Nik Raina.
“Censorship in all its forms is ugly and rights violating to start with, but the outrageous and abusive way that JAWI has conducted itself throughout this episode further shows how badly eroded the rule of law has become in Malaysia,” said Phil Robertson, speaking on behalf of HRW. “The fact of the matter is Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz should have never been hauled into any court in the first place. “
JAWI needs to be reined in because it seems to think that it is a law unto itself, conducting raids on materials that were not yet banned, and then refusing to accept fault – by appealing a resounding KL High Court decision against JAWI that should have ended this travesty of justice, and trying to continue this ill-considered prosecution in the Syariah court.”
The management of Borders, added HRW, deserves credit for defending its employee against the wrongful charges, and Nik Raina deserves the support of all Malaysians for standing up against this malicious and selective prosecution.
Human Rights Watch has also previously commented against the banning of the book “Allah, Liberty and Love” at the link below: