Zunar sues police and Govt for seizing books

KUALA LUMPUR: Political cartoonist Zunar is suing the police for seizing his books and T-shirts during a fundraising event with his fans.

The suit, filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court registry, named DSP M. Gunalan, Insp Mohamad Ridzuan Samsudin, 16 policemen (only identified by their badge numbers), the Inspector-General of Police and the Government as defendants.

In his statement of claim filed yesterday, Zunar, whose real name is Zulkiflee S.M. Anwarul Haque, said he had organised the “Tea with Zunar” event at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall here at 3pm on Dec 17 last year.

The 55-year-old cartoonist said that before the event officially started, police arrested his assistant who was selling the books and T-shirts at the venue.

He said police also arrested him and refused to tell him the reason for his arrest.

A total of 1,187 books and 103 T-shirts were seized during the event and they have not been returned to him, even after his subsequent release.

Zunar claimed that his arrest and false imprisonment were illegal, in contradiction of the Federal Constitution and not in accordance with proper police procedure.

He added that as a result of the incident, book sellers and distributors have refused to market his books and that some have even returned the stocks to him for fear of police or legal action against them.

The cartoonist is seeking special damages amounting to RM22,388, aggravated and exemplary damages, and other reliefs deemed fit by the court.

Zunar also asked that the seized items be returned to him.

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