SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: October 01, 2014

Attack Types: Prosecution

Institution(s):University of Selangor

Region & Country:Southeastern Asia | Malaysia

New or Ongoing:New Incident

Dr. Abdul Aziz Bari, a law professor and constitutional scholar at the University of Selangor, reportedly faces potential sedition charges under Section 4(1)(a) of Malaysia’s Sedition Act of 1948, in connection with statements he made in two published articles relating to constitutional limitations on the powers of the Sultan of the Malaysian State of Selangor.  Dr. Aziz reportedly appeared before police authorities on October 1, 2014, in connection with the investigation, and invoked his right, under Malaysian law, to remain silent. As of this report, the investigation remains ongoing.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the investigation and potential prosecution of a scholar in retaliation for nonviolent, expressive activity related to his professional expertise and protected by internationally recognized human rights standards. State authorities have a responsibility not to interfere with scholars’ expressive activity, so long as that activity is undertaken peacefully and responsibly. Prosecution aimed at limiting such expressive activity undermines academic freedom and democratic society generally.