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Journalist Arrested For Tweet Deported to Saudi Arabia 604

Posted by timothy
from the welcome-to-most-of-history dept.
New submitter cosmicaug writes with an update to yesterday's report that journalist Hamza Kashgari had been arrested by Malaysian police acting on a request conveyed from the Saudi government via Interpol. Now, says the BBC, "Police confirmed to the BBC that Hamza Kashgari was sent back to Saudi Arabia on Sunday despite protests from human rights groups. Mr Kashgari's controversial tweet last week sparked more than 30,000 responses and several death threats. Insulting the prophet is considered blasphemous in Islam and is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia. Mr Kashgari, 23, fled Saudi Arabia last week and was detained upon his arrival in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur on Thursday." Writes cosmicaug: "Sadly, the most likely outcome is that they are going to execute this man for three tweets."
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Journalist Arrested For Tweet Deported to Saudi Arabia

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  • by TuomasK (631731) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @02:38PM (#39012223)
    Western country.. Malaysia?
  • by Ogi_UnixNut (916982) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @02:39PM (#39012229) Homepage
    Probably because he wasn't deported from a western country? He was deported from one Muslim country (Malaysia) to another (Saudi Arabia). AFAIK Malaysia is very friendly with Saudi Arabia, so it's no surprise they deported the guy back as soon as they could.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 12, 2012 @02:44PM (#39012265)

    Because Malaysia is not a western country but a corrupt 3rd world nation?

    Thing is Malaysia does not have an extradition treaty with Saudi Arabia. It does have such treaties with other countries including the USA: []
    So it is technically strange for him to be extradited so easily.

    But whatever it is, it's a majority muslim country, so not a good destination/stopover choice for him.

  • by wcoenen (1274706) <> on Sunday February 12, 2012 @02:49PM (#39012309)

    What is even worse is that Interpol acknowledges blasphemy as a crime.

    According to article 3 of Interpol's own constitution [], they are explicitly forbidden to engage in matters of religious character. So either they were deceived about the nature of the "crime" or they ignored their own principles.

  • by rabbit994 (686936) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @02:55PM (#39012353)

    Because you obviously don't understand how Interpol works. Interpol is basically a big forum where various police agencies around the world share warrants, police investigations and the like. When one member country says they have warrants for joe smith, Interpol simply distributes the warrant and information to all other members nations. Interpol doesn't check the warrant or see why it's being issued, they just make a note in Joe Smith record and when it's pulled up by another country custom officers, they just see, so and so has warrant against them issued by another country and details of warrant. It's up to individual country to make determination if they are going to follow the warrant or not. 99.99% of the time, warrants are for stuff that all members countries that are consider illegal. Murder, rape, child related charges, drug traffic offenses.

  • by ilguido (1704434) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @03:07PM (#39012443) Homepage
    It seems he was fleeing to New Zealand, he stopped in Malaysia because it is an airline hub.
  • by nedlohs (1335013) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @03:09PM (#39012469)

    Because Malaysia has the death penalty, outside of wartime treason, themselves (unlike most western countries, the USA being the only exception) so why wouldn't they extradite somewhere else that also does?

    Of course Malaysia isn't a Western country no matter how hard you squint either.

    On a side note, Saudi Arabia executed someone for witchcraft last year, so one can only assume the burden of proof isn't exactly high. Or they actually have real live witches casting spells of course...

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @03:15PM (#39012525)

    Pick a place that doesn't care like Netherlands or Belgium.

    Maybe you meant this as a joke, but both the Netherlands and Belgium arrest people for insulting religious figures, expressing particularly unpopular opinions, and (for Belgium) going out in public wearing clothing associated with unpopular religions. If you want references, just google for either country plus "hate speech", "holocaust denial", or "veil ban". These are hardly countries that "don't care" about thought control.

  • by ilguido (1704434) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @03:20PM (#39012555) Homepage
    Well the original report (from the Guardian []) reads:

    Police in Kuala Lumpur said Hamza Kashgari, 23, was detained at the airport "following a request made to us by Interpol" the international police cooperation agency, on behalf of the Saudi authorities.
  • by CadentOrange (2429626) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @03:22PM (#39012573)
    I can't tell if you're being serious of facetious. Malaysia has this thing called the Internal Security Act, []. It has been used frequently to put down opposition, most notably during the 1980s as part of Operation Lalang.

    Be assured that any "occupy" protests will be dealt with swiftly and severely.

  • Re:Remember kids (Score:5, Informative)

    by steveha (103154) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @03:37PM (#39012659) Homepage

    How many people have you seen executed in the name of religion lately?

    Me, personally? None.

    But in Muslim countries where they follow Islamic law, there are lots of religious crimes for which people are executed.

    In this case, the crime is "apostasy", or leaving the faith. I don't know of any person in recent history being executed for leaving the Christian faith in any of its variations; but in Islamic law apostasy can be and is punished by death. []

    Another crime for which one can be executed under Islamic law: homosexuality. Note that I am not saying I personally consider homosexuality a crime (I don't), I am saying that under Islam this is a crime, it is punishable by death, and this actually happens [] in the real world. []

    So, either you need to find an explanation for why the above examples are not executions "in the name of religion" or you need to consider your point invalidated.


  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @04:34PM (#39013139) Journal

    That's the part I'm wondering. Either this guy was really dumb, didn't have much choice (maybe he couldn't get a visa to a better country for some odd reason), or maybe he was intercepted while his escape plan was still in motion (maybe he had to go to Malaysia first because they're so friendly with SA, and step 2 was to jump from there to someplace better, and he was caught before that point, faster than he thought he'd be).

    According to Wikipedia, he was heading to New Zealand to apply to political asylum, and was arrested en route.

  • by mr100percent (57156) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @04:49PM (#39013247) Homepage Journal

    That's the thing, Muslims don't. Saudi Arabia is a dictatorship that rules by a king who was installed by the British. Their meager population is 1.75% of all Muslims worldwide. Consider this, there are 2x as many Muslims in China than Saudi Arabia, should we judge Islam and Muslims based on that? (It's equally ridiculous)

    Saudi Arabia has been criticized by every other Muslim country for its backwardness and repression. There is no other Muslim country that bans women from driving, and Muslim leaders abroad have led the call to pressure the King to drop the ban. Millions of Muslims like myself have signed petitions calling on them to recognize greater religious freedom and human rights. As a Muslim, I'd like to see an Arab Spring in Saudi, but unfortunately the US government has been selling the Saudi government weapons and tools to suppress the population. The Saudi king doesn't really own cows, so why is he importing thousands of cattle prods and giving them to the police forces?

    Try actually talking to Muslims, or heck, reading Muslim blogs/tweets/newspapers, before you assume that we all support such an abomination. There's no place in the Quran where it says a king should ever rule over people.

  • by ZombieBraintrust (1685608) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @05:32PM (#39013529)
    More than that, the staff located in the Middle East is made up of local law enforcement. I don't think Interpol as a organization even chooses its own members. Interpol is just a framework for law enforcement in various countries to work together.
  • by blind biker (1066130) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @05:55PM (#39013777) Journal

    Yes, Saudi Arabia is the exception. And Malaysia, since they're extradating the guy for what shouldn't even be a crime. OK; so Saudi Arabia and Malaysia are the exceptions.

    And Pakistan, since there blasphemy is punishable by death. []

    Alright, the Musim world is fine with these three minor exceptions, namely Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Pakistan.

    Oh, and Iran, whee you can be sentenced to death for apostasy. []

    I could go on, I really could, but I think I already made my point: you can excuse us, uninformed outsiders, when we make the broad conclusion that Islam is fucked up, generally speaking.

  • Re:Green Energy (Score:4, Informative)

    by Roogna (9643) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @07:05PM (#39014247)

    Then it's clear you don't understand modern nuclear power plant designs. There is far less danger from the radioactive waste coming from a modern nuclear power plant, then from any of the coal plants that have ever been built.

  • Re:Green Energy (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jeremi (14640) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @08:12PM (#39014723) Homepage

    Where are the coal versions of Fukushima and Chernobyle? Surely you can point to tens of examples easily as coal has been in use much longer and on a larger scale.

    Why yes, one can -- of course, the exact examples you are looking for depend on what aspects of "Fukushima and Chernobyle" you are asking for coal-mining versions of.

    Are you asking about examples of sudden, unexpected disasters causing mass death or destruction of nearby cities? Okay, here are some:

          Ok Tedi disaster []
          Buffalo Creek Flood []

    Or perhaps you are asking about situations in which large numbers of industry workers were killed in an accident? Yep, we've got those [] too... thousands of coal workers die from accidents every year.

    Or maybe you're wondering about if there are entire regions whose ecosystem has been destroyed by coal? Yes, there are [].

    Or perhaps you are asking about the slow-motion health and environmental damage caused by coal even when everything is working as designed? Yup, there's that [] as well.

    Nuclear certainly has its problems, but coal is much, much, much worse.

  • by kaliann (1316559) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @10:32PM (#39015389)

    Tweet said: "I have loved things about you and I have hated things about you and there is a lot I don't understand about you. I will not pray for you"

    The tweets were put out on Mohammed's birthday (a BIG holy day) and were assumed to reference the prophet. I'm guessing that both the hate and the not praying are considered no-nos.

    He is reported to have apologized, which may have confirmed his guilt for those in Saudi Arabia looking to convict him of blasphemy/apostasy, which is a capital offense in Saudi Arabia.

  • by flyingsquid (813711) on Monday February 13, 2012 @12:07AM (#39015995)
    This makes a complete mockery of Interpol's constitution. This is taken directly from the constitution on their web site:

    "Article 3. It is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character."

The flow chart is a most thoroughly oversold piece of program documentation. -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"