Washington, DC – The following statement was issued today by Lorne W. Craner, President of IRI, and Ken Wollack, President of the National Democratic Institute, regarding the arrest of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Malaysia on July 16, 2008.

“The arrest of political leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on July 16 is of great concern to us and the international community.  A similar charge that was filed against him 10 years ago was ultimately overturned by the Supreme Court.  The timing of the current charge is of particular concern given his re-emergence on the national political scene since the ban on his involvement in politics expired in April 2008.

“We hope that the investigation into the allegation is not used as a political tool to silence an outspoken government critic.  It is essential that the investigation is conducted in a transparent and fair manner that upholds the rule of law, and affords Mr. Ibrahim full protection of his legal rights. We also urge the citizens of Malaysia to remain calm and pursue resolution of their concerns over his arrest in a peaceful manner.”

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