“The Festival condemns this act of repression which is contrary to the spirit of free speech and expression, a central premise of the festival,” said festival director Bernard Chauly..
The festival organisers urged the authorities to immediately free Zunar and refrain from further disruption of the festival,... which involves 60 writers from 20 countries.
Michael Vatikiotis, a writer at the festival, also slammed the arrest.
“Levels of repression are reaching dangerous levels in Malaysia.
“The fact that Zunar’s arrest happened at the George Town Literary Festival, with dozens of international writers and artists, only underscores the government’s disregard for freedom of expression,” said Vatikiotis.
Meanwhile, national laureate Muhammad Salleh defended Zunar.
“Zunar is an artist and a conscience of society. He was painting on our behalf and is committed to free speech and expression for Malaysians.
“Only through free speech can we be a nation that is truly democratic,” he said.(Malaysiakini)