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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 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?

  • 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.
  • by icebike ( 68054 ) * on Sunday February 12, 2012 @03:02PM (#39012399)

    Malaysia isn't a western country and probably doesn't have that rule.

    Malaysia probably has just the opposite rule, considering The Malaysian constitution states that Islam is the state religion.

    One has to wonder why this guy would flee to any Muslim Majority nation, let alone one with an official "state religion" of Islam.

  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @03:03PM (#39012407) Journal

    However, do not try to link one's opinion to an ideal the same to one that is a physical act. Further more, I fail to see how you would try to say the two are even more similar.

    OK, I'll try to explain it.

    Spreading child porn and blaspheming against god are both speech. That is it, there isn't any serious argument on this point.

    In America, we oppose spreading child porn, in part because sometimes it hurts kids, but also because we tend to view sex-offenders as scum, and label them as scum for the rest of their lives. We prevent them from living close to schools, we create websites to easily look up where they live. It doesn't matter if no kids were harmed in the making of the porn, we still label them as such. Note, I am not a supporter of child porn, just trying to show how morally, these two things are similar.

    In Saudi Arabia, blaspheming against god can ruin the lives of others, if you manage to convince them to be bad, etc. It also labels you as scum, undesirable, someone to be avoided. Their punishments for the particular crime are harsher, but in many ways it is similar to our child porn laws.

    Now, I am personally opposed to condemning people for blasphemy, and I think anything that hurts little kids is horrible, but this is based on my own personal beliefs. I can understand the beliefs that the Saudis have that would make them come to different conclusions.

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

    by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @03:09PM (#39012477)

    Snark if you must, but it's been a long time since anyone in the US faced execution for stating that Jesus was a good, inspirational man, but not God. In fact, I'm not even sure that such a thing has ever happened. People have been killed by lynch mobs, but that's not a question of separating church and state, it's a question of people not being barbarous murderers.

    In fact, according to Wikipedia, even as far back as the late 17th century, the British colonists' laws only punished blasphemers with some months in prison and a couple hundred dollars in fines. It's not nothing, but it's certainly not death.

  • by Paracelcus ( 151056 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @03:13PM (#39012509) Journal

    I would rail and rant about the savage, barbaric, murderous monsters, but upon reflection, the USofA kills dozens of people of questionable guilt primarily to make local prosecutors and police officials look good! So aside from the fact that (here) the condemned get a drug cocktail that presumably does not hurt (much), the Saudis use a sword to saw your head off (it's slow & bloody)! Anybody who would travel to this medieval shitpile is asking for it.

  • by sosume ( 680416 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @03:19PM (#39012549) Journal

    Malaysia was responding to an Interpol warrant. The real question is why Interpol cooperates in prosecuting thought crimes. Some heads are going to roll, and not just that of the arrested journalist..

  • 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 [] 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 Stripe7 ( 571267 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @03:57PM (#39012833)
    Now here is something for Anonymous to take up. A man being executed as there is no "Freedom of Speech" in that area of the world.
  • 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 timeOday ( 582209 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @04:13PM (#39012969)
    Yes, it is somewhat different because none of the following stories will lead to state executions, but it's a little surprising how easily a tweet or something like that can get you imprisoned in the US. It certainly doesn't require any actual violent actions (quoting Glen Greenwald []):
    • A Staten Island satellite TV salesman in 2009 was sentenced to five years in federal prison merely for including a Hezbollah TV channel as part of the satellite package he sold to customers;
    • a Massachusetts resident, Tarek Mehanna, is being prosecuted now "for posting pro-jihadist material on the internet";
    • a 24-year-old Pakistani legal resident living in Virginia, Jubair Ahmad, was indicted last September for uploading a 5-minute video to YouTube that was highly critical of U.S. actions in the Muslim world, an allegedly criminal act simply because prosecutors claim he discussed the video in advance with the son of a leader of a designated Terrorist organization (Lashkar-e-Tayyiba);
    • a Saudi Arabian graduate student, Sami Omar al-Hussayen, was prosecuted simply for maintaining a website with links "to groups that praised suicide bombings in Chechnya and in Israel" and "jihadist" sites that solicited donations for extremist groups (he was ultimately acquitted);
    • and last July, a 22-year-old former Penn State student and son of an instructor at the school, Emerson Winfield Begolly, was indicted for - in the FBI's words - "repeatedly using the Internet to promote violent jihad against Americans" by posting comments on a "jihadist" Internet forum including "a comment online that praised the shootings" at a Marine Corps base, action which former Obama lawyer Marty Lederman said "does not at first glance appear to be different from the sort of advocacy of unlawful conduct that is entitled to substantial First Amendment protection."
  • by mbone ( 558574 ) on Sunday February 12, 2012 @04:15PM (#39013001)

    The US no longer has transit visas (except IIRC for UN diplomats). Everyone on a plane that transits the US is forced to get off and go through customs and is there subject to interrogation and arrest.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 12, 2012 @04:36PM (#39013155)

    Sure, why not? Go after the people who actually hurt the children, rather than wasting time arresting people who look at pictures/videos.

    Can't do that? Too bad.

  • by anagama ( 611277 ) <> on Sunday February 12, 2012 @05:11PM (#39013389) Homepage

    The drone killings were bad when Bush did it. Obama has simply gone to the next level. Bush didn't kill Americans. Bush averaged 6.5 drone attacks per year. Obama is managing to get one in every four DAYS. With respect to drone attacks, the astounding fact of the matter is that Obama is 14x more evil than Bush, and considering what an evil SOB Bush was, that's amazing. []

  • 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 Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 12, 2012 @10:43PM (#39015451)

    hmm, this might be interesting - do you also think women should have full equality in everything, including education, free sex, choosing their clothing ? how about voting ?
    do you also support religious freedom, including freedom to have no religion and mocking any religion (in speach, writing or images) ?
    i'm really curious what does a self proclaimed free-thinking muslim actually is like :)

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

    by Alex Zepeda ( 10955 ) on Monday February 13, 2012 @05:59AM (#39017363)

    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.

    You mean like Centralia [], Brennender Berg [] (it's been burning for over three hundred years), or Kingston Steam Plant []?

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