Seksualiti Merdeka movement festival banned


KUALA LUMPUR: Police have banned the ongoing Seksualiti Merdeka movement festival.

Deputy IGP Datuk Seri Khalid Abu Bakar said Thursday strong action would be taken against those who defied the directive.

He said police have identified and would call everyone involved, including former Bar Council president Datuk S .Ambiga, to record their statements.

"Police will take action under Section 27 A(1)(C) of the Police Act as well as 298A of the Penal Code to prevent any function relating to the programme," he told a media conference, here Thursday.

He said the law in the country did not recognise any deviationist activity that could destroy the practice of religious freedom.

"Police received many protests from non-governmental organizations, including Islamic and non-Islamic organizations, which feared the programme could create disharmony, enmity and disturb public order," he said.

Seksualiti Merdeka is an annual sexuality rights festival celebrating human rights of people of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity.

A coalition of NGOs, artistes, activists and individuals had organised the event since 2008.

This year's event, Queer Without Fear,' started on Tuesday at The Annexe Gallery, Kuala Lumpur. It will end on Nov 13.

The festival's programme includes forums, talks, workshops, book launches, an art exhibition and stage performances.

Related Stories: Opinions split over sexuality movement

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