• A government crackdown on civil and political rights, which began after the ruling coalition won the most seats in the 2013 parliamentary elections but lost the popular vote, continued into 2015. The authorities employed the Peaceful Assembly Act both to prevent any demonstration questioning the results and to punish the organizers. In addition, the Sedition Act was used to prosecute those criticizing the government, leaders of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s political party, and for remarks the government considers derogatory toward Malaysia’s sultans or is disrespectful of Islam. Najib’s repeated promise that the act would be repealed dissolved under pressure from party leaders. Instead he has promised to strengthen the law and seek a counter-terrorism measure. Open opposition to LGBT rights has increased as Sharia (Islamic) courts are more assertively prosecuting alleged LGBT activity.

  • Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail leave after a news conference in Kuala Lumpur.
    The conviction of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim after seven years of politically motivated proceedings under an abusive and archaic law is a major setback for human rights in Malaysia.

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