[JURIST] Malaysia officials on Monday arrested the daughter of jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] for alleged acts of sedition. Lawmaker Nurul Izzah Anwar was reportedly arrested and detained specifically for a speech she made last week criticizing the jailing of her father. Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction on sodomy charges was upheld [JURIST report] last month, as was his five-year prison sentence. Many critics in Malaysia and abroad have claimed Nurul Izzah Anwar’s arrest is a politically driven act to fight the opposing potential threat of the People’s Justice party, with the International Commission of Jurists calling for her release [press release].
Anwar Ibrahim has continually denied [JURIST report] the sodomy charge. The Kuala Lumpur High Court [official website] acquitted him in January 2012, but in March 2014 an appeals court overturned the acquittal [JURIST reports] and sentenced him to five years in prison. The opposition leader was arrested in July 2008 after he filed a lawsuit against his accuser [JURIST reports] a month earlier. In December 2010 he filed a complaint [JURIST report] in a Malaysian court over a WikiLeaks cable published by Australian newspapers stating he had engaged in sodomy. Anwar Ibrahim was Malaysia’s deputy prime minister under former Mahathir Mohamad until he was fired in 1998 following earlier sodomy charges of which he was initially convicted but later acquitted. He reentered Malaysian politics following the expiration of a 10-year ban [JURIST report] against him for unrelated corruption charges.