- U.S. Army hails success with drone-shooting laser
- John Kerry: Israel-Palestinian peace deal paved for April
- India diplomat who touts women’s rights busted for $3 wage to nanny
- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding
Malaysia defends deportation of Saudi journalist
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA (AP) - Malaysia's government on Monday defended its decision to deport a young Saudi journalist who may face persecution at home for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad on Twitter.
Jiddah-based newspaper columnist Hamza Kashgari, 23, was detained Thursday at the Malaysian airport while in transit to New Zealand. He was deported Sunday despite fears from rights groups that he may face the death penalty if charged with blasphemy over remarks he tweeted that many considered offensive.
He said the deportation followed a request from the Saudi government. Allegations that Kashgari could be tortured and killed if he was sent back home are “ridiculous” because Saudi Arabia is a respectable country, he said.
Malaysian authorities also didn’t receive any court order to halt the deportation, he added.
Human Rights Watch slammed Malaysia’s failure to respect human rights. It said Kashgari was kept incommunicado and denied access to lawyers and the U.N. refugee agency. Police also told lawyers that Kashgari was still being held after he already had been forced on a plane, it said.
“By its actions, the ministry of home affairs once again showed that it believes rule of law is whatever it says and that it is more than willing to be totally opaque in its operations to maintain its flexibility to do what it wants when it wants,” said Phil Robertson, its Asia deputy director.
“The cold hard truth is that Malaysia has bent over backwards to please Saudi Arabia, breached international law by not allowing (Kashgari) to seek asylum and instead handed him on a silver platter to his persecutors,” it said.
Amnesty International has called Kashgari a “prisoner of conscience.”
Spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said it appeared that he had not been granted access to a lawyer or the right of appeal “in accordance with international standards.”
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- U.S. Navy-China showdown: Chinese try to halt U.S. cruiser in international waters
- Obama birther theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- Billy Graham near death, close to going home to be with the Lord
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
- North Korea's official report on Jang Song Thaek
- Dr. Ben Carson disavows efforts at presidential draft
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
John Glaser turns his pen toward foreign policy and international relations around the world
A conservative commentator and satirist takes on the worlds of politics and entertainment in pursuit of truth, justice and all things America.
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
Implement these actionable tips, how-to’s and best practices in 10 minutes or less to leverage online communications and technology for brand, business and career development.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow