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Anwar’s detention illegal – UN

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – A UN body has determined that former Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been jailed illegally and called for his immediate release, according to a copy of the opinion released on Monday by his family.

Anwar, 68, was jailed in February for five years after being convicted of sodomizing a former male aide. He denies the charge, calling it a frame-up by Malaysia’s long-ruling government to halt recent opposition political gains.

The opinion by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concluded that Anwar’s imprisonment was “arbitrary”, that he was denied a fair trial, and was jailed for political reasons.

“The Working Group considers that the adequate remedy would be to release Mr Ibrahim immediately, and ensure that his political rights that were removed based on his arbitrary detention be reinstated,” said the opinion, dated Sept 15.

It also said Anwar’s treatment in prison violates international prohibitions against “torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment”.