Anwar did not complain to prison body, others did, says Zahid

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Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim did not lodge any complaints with the prison authorities since he was jailed on February this year after being found guilty of sodomy.Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said instead it was “quarters with vested interests” who had maligned the Prison’s Department on its treatment of the former opposition leader.”Since Anwar was held in Sungai Buloh Prison on February 10, he did not lodge any reports with the prison management.”However, there were some quarters with vested interests outside the prison who have made various allegations on the treatment given to Anwar,” he told Ahmad Marzuk Shaary (PAS-Bachok) in a parliamentary written reply.

Marzuk had asked the number and types of complaints lodged by Anwar since his incarceration and if reading materials sent to him were blocked.Since Anwar’s jailing, his family and party had embarked on a campaign to free him.This included the #KitaLawan rallies and the filing of two applications to both parliament and the United Nations’s working group on arbitrary detention.Zahid also said Anwar has access to reading materials sent to him.

“To date, letters, postcards and books sent to him are in accordance with Prison Rules and Regulations 2000 as well as the prison’s standard operating procedures.”They were not barred by the prison authorities. Other conveniences and equipment were also not prohibited and were given to Anwar as per conveniences and equipment given to other prisoners based on curent regulations and procedures,” he added.

On February 10, the Federal Court found Anwar guilty of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in a condominium unit at Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, in 2008.The de facto PKR leader was handed a five-year prison term.Anwar, 68, has had his long political career twice interrupted by sodomy charges, first in 1998 after he was sacked from government, and now. He and the opposition maintain that the charges were political conspiracies to end his career.Following his latest conviction, Anwar’s family filed a petition seeking a royal pardon but it was rejected by the Pardons Board on March 16.

As a result, Anwar’s lost his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat and a by-election last month saw his wife, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail wining the seat.She was subsequently appointed opposition leader. – June 18, 2015.

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