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Journalist Arrested For Tweet Deported to Saudi Arabia 604

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 Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 12, 2012 @02:34PM (#39012195)
    • Sure thing! (Score:4, Funny)

      by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @02:55PM (#39012349) Homepage

      Just tell me where to buy the Mr. Fusion upgrade.

      • Green Energy (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 12, 2012 @03:35PM (#39012655)

        Just tell me where to buy the Mr. Fusion upgrade.

        What is trying to be done is to develop alternative or "green" energy. Unfortunately with the rancorous political dialog here in the US, it's being dragged down.

        I firmly believe that the only way for us in the US to fully develop other energy sources is for government involvement. I agree, it's not the best solution but US business is too short sighted to pursue that avenue on its own - and part of their short shortsightedness is from Wall Street pressure - got to have immediate returns, after all.

        In the meantime, all of the cutting edge alternative energy developments are being done in Europe and in China.

        I find that quite damning of our political and business environment.

        So, those Saudi assholes are going to keep doing their shit for a very long time - no thanks to us, the US.

      • Re:Sure thing! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 12, 2012 @04:10PM (#39012943)

        1) Replace coal fired electricity generation with nuclear power
        2) Use the coal now not being burned to produce electricity, to instead produce synthetic liquid fuels (Fischer Tropsch process, etc)
        3) Electricification of transportation (Electric commuter cars, electricified rail transport etc)
        4) Nuclear powered merchant shipping (by this stage ecconomies of scale in step 1 should have driven down the cost of nuclear plant, fuel assembly and spent fuel reprocessing, etc).
        5) Bring our soldiers home as foreign oil becomes increasingly irrelevant...
        6) Reprocess the spent nuclear fuel, vitrify the fission products and bury them in a deep hole, and send the rest of the spent fuel (unfissioned uranium and transuranics like plutonium) back to a reactor for another fuel cycle.
        7) Export advanced nuclear reactor technoloy to the rest of the world $$$
        = Cleaner air in our cities, reduced CO2 emissions, eleminate dependance on foreign oil, stop pissing of other countries by sending our soldiers to their neighbourhood, etc

        But no, instead of doing the above as an ecconomic stimulus, we (the western world) will spend billions/trillions on fighting wars in the mid east to secure our oil supply (money up in smoke?)

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 12, 2012 @04:12PM (#39012961)

        Just tell me where to buy the Mr. Fusion upgrade.

        Mr. Fusion only powered the time circuits, the time machine still required unleaded gasoline to move and hit 88mph.

    • by leromarinvit ( 1462031 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @05:01PM (#39013321)

      And stop selling weapons to these dipshits. [nytimes.com]

    • Australian here, (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @08:57PM (#39014959)
      We buy our oil from Singapore which is about $0.20 dearer then WTI or Brent crude.

      /Smug mode.

      Now not buying oil from them wont make them stop acting like idiots, they'll just be poor idiots. Even that is unlikely as they aren't going to run out of customers for their oil any time soon. But yes, the US should pull support from the Saudi's for many more reasons then this, that means pulling US forces out of Saudi bases (even the logistic bases) and stop selling them weapons.
  • by del_diablo ( 1747634 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @02:36PM (#39012209)

    As far as I know, most western countries have a policy that states "If a man will be executed upon being sent to a country, you are not allowed to send this man to the country, nor are you allowed to deport him to a country that may deport him to the country in question", or something similar. Disregard the lack of Lawyer shargon, but instead: Why was this rule not followed?

    • 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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That only applies to countries that themselves don't have the death penalty. Malaysia does have the death penalty. Besides that, this is still probably even a crime in Malaysia, since they have Shariah law. I think he was only deported to Saudi Arabia for his trial because he is a citizen of Saudi Arabia.

    • by rabbit994 ( 686936 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @02:43PM (#39012255)

      Because Malaysia is mostly Muslim and they think it's totally cool that Saudi Arabia wants to execute this guy over bashing "the prophet".

      Note, when you are fleeing a country for religious reasons, don't flee to another country that is same religion as one you are fleeing from. Double if it's the same state religion. Pick a place that doesn't care like Netherlands or Belgium.

      • by ilguido ( 1704434 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @03:07PM (#39012443)
        It seems he was fleeing to New Zealand, he stopped in Malaysia because it is an airline hub.
      • 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 Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @03:21PM (#39012569)

          The question isn't whether the country has total freedom of speech and religion, it's whether the target country will deport this guy for this offense.

          If a country doesn't like Islam too much, and bans people wearing Islamic veils in public, then it's quite likely that someone showing up there from an Islamic country, on the run because he insulted the Islamic religion, probably isn't going to be deported.

          • by dargaud ( 518470 )

            ...he insulted the Islamic religion...

            I read the tweets and I don't have a clue why they are considered an insult, much less to an imaginary entity. Can someone elaborate on that ?!?

            • 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.

      • Oh come on, stop assuming that Malaysians are OK with such a thing. That's flat-out false; Malaysia's interpretation of the Quran is very very different than Saudi's. Malaysia's version of Islamic law doesn't even punish adultery, while Saudi considers it a capital offense.

        Malaysia is bound by an extradition treaty, do they even have any legal leeway to deny such a request? Unlike the US/UK, Malaysia probably doesn't have any laws forbidding deportation if they will be tortured/executed. To use a Florida ex

    • 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 Dahamma ( 304068 )

        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...

        Maybe it was a Harry Potter convention, in which case it was probably justified.

  • Remember kids (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NiceGeek ( 126629 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @02:38PM (#39012219)

    Separation of State and Church = good.

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

      by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @02:48PM (#39012295) Journal

      Differentiating "church" from "reality" is even better.

    • Re:Remember kids (Score:4, Insightful)

      by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @03:20PM (#39012553)

      Religion = bad, and the current (YMMV over history) worst is Islam.

  • by G3ckoG33k ( 647276 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @02:40PM (#39012239)

    "Sadly, the most likely outcome is that they are going to execute this man for three tweets."

    Why does Interpol even acknowledge this?!

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

    This may give the world the impression that religions have substance and may be respected.

    • by wcoenen ( 1274706 ) <wcoenen@gmail.com> 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 [interpol.int], 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 sjames ( 1099 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @03:37PM (#39012667) Homepage Journal

        According to their own charter, they DO check the warrants. Ethical considerations demand that they do as well. They failed utterly.

      • by mbone ( 558574 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @03:52PM (#39012791)

        Interpol's Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] says that "[i]n order to maintain as politically neutral a role as possible, Interpol's constitution forbids it to undertake any interventions or activities of a political, military, religious, or racial nature." That, and "[u]ntil the 1980s Interpol did not intervene in the prosecution of Nazi war criminals in accordance with Article 3 of its Constitution forbidding intervention in 'political' matters."

        So, Nazi war crimes are political, but insulting the Prophet is not religious. This does not surprise. Interpol's full name is the International Criminal Police Organization; it was called the the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC) prior to 1956. Past Presidents of the ICPC include Ernst Kaltenbrunner and Reinhard Heydrich. When Heydrich was planning the Final Solution at the Wannsee Conference, he was President of the ICPC. If you think that this background gives me a certain lack of respect for the ICPO, you are correct.

  • by wisebabo ( 638845 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @02:41PM (#39012247) Journal

    ... of his citizenship send him to a country where apostasy isn't a crime?

    Or would the number of tweets fom like minded citizens hoping to duplicate his fortune crash twitter's servers?

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      Well I can give you the long answer or the short answer. The long answer is way, way too long. But the short answer is, because in a theocracy you have no freedom of expression or speech. And in turn the only way to keep the common people in line is by using religious law, and the fear of persecution. And when you have the chance to persecute someone for it. You do it, to throw the 'fear of god' in the rest, so they don't step out of line. And in turn, you keep control over your country, state, or wh

  • Moral High Ground (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ISoldat53 ( 977164 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @02:43PM (#39012259)
    The US used to have the moral high ground to protest these sort of things. What a difference a decade makes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ScentCone ( 795499 )

      What a difference a decade makes.

      What, because the US also now executes people for being insufficiently deferential to the state religion?

      Or is this just yet another misdirected, fuzzy-minded Julian Assange fanboy thing?

  • How much clearer does it need to be made to us, that our oil addiction is putting us in bed with some really, really objectionable regimes around the world?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm no hippie on a bicycle, and I don't hate Muslims or their faith (at least, no more than I dislike Christians or Christianity) but when you've got nations involved in the whole "execution for apostasy" game, cut them off. Yes, geopolitics is hard, but we should never have let ourselves get put in a position where we'd support any regime like this.

  • by mr100percent ( 57156 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @03:23PM (#39012585) Homepage Journal

    Man there's a heck of a lot of trolls commenting here.

    Look, this is a problem of dictatorship, not of religion. The majority of the world's Muslims live in democracies and don't have such repressive laws. Muslims in America are aghast at such an unjust situation. Saudi is the backwards exception in the Muslim world. I'm a Muslim and I certainly don't support what's going on here.

    • The majority of the world's Muslims live in democracies and don't have such repressive laws.

      What democracies? The ones like Malaysia, which deported this guy to his death?

      Or the one like the newly democratic Egypt, where they're seriously debating whether to allow women to sit in the parliament or not, and whether they should go Sharia all the way right there and then, or blend religious and civil code?

      Or the one like the newly democratic Libya, where al-Qaeda jihadi banner with shahada is now flying over the town hall?

      Or the one like Iran, where they have revolted against tyranny, and then procee

    • 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. [wikipedia.org]

      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. [wikipedia.org]

      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.

  • by Arrogant-Bastard ( 141720 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @05:23PM (#39013469)
    There's a tendency to think that the US is above all this -- that Bertrand Russell's famous saying ("Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.") refers not to the future, but to the past, and that we have all somehow become enlightened, that we've matured out of these primitive superstitions along with the violence, hatred, prejudice, bigotry, slavery, and ignorance that they support.

    But we haven't. Let me suggest the following thought experiment to you: write on a large piece of posterboard "I skullfucked Mary and shit on Jesus' face." Now go stand with that poster on a streetcorner in Topeka, Kansas at 9 AM on Monday morning. Do you think you'll survive the day?

    Of course these are purely mythical creatures, no more real than Arthur Dent or Allah or Harry Potter or Zeus or Loki or any other fiction. But, amazing, there are people on this planet -- including in Topeka, Kansas, in the heart of the United States -- who will attack and kill you for that sign.

    Some will point out that at least this isn't codified into law: that is, that such attacks are extralegal. My response to that is (a) not yet, they aren't, although if you're paying any attention to contemporary American politics you know full well that there are numerous attempts underway to make Christianity the state religion and (b) it's not clear to me why, when you're lying in the street bleeding and dying, the lack of statutory authority will matter to you.

    When we in the United States have progressed beyond this -- when we no longer live in a society where atheists are considered as trustworthy as rapists [jonathanturley.org] -- then perhaps we can claim some measure of the moral high ground here.

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