Friday, September 12, 2008

Raja Petra 'arrested under ISA'

Source : Malaysiakini

Controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin has been detained under the Internal Security Act, said his wife Marina Lee Abdullah.


According to her, 10 police personnel from Bukit Aman came to their home in Sungai Buloh at about 1.10pm to arrest him. They also confiscated a computer, some books and VCDs.

When Malaysiakini contacted Marina at 1.25pm, the police personnel were still there. However, he was taken away to an unknown destination at 1.50pm.

On Sept 6, Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar had warned the 58-year-old editor of popular news portal Malaysia Today could be charged under the ISA for comments allegedly insulting Islam and Prophet Muhammad.

Several religious groups - Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Yadim), Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (Maiwp) and Federal Territory Religious Department (Jawi) - had lodged police reports against him.

The groups complained his comment in an article entitled "I Promise to be a good, non-hypocritical Muslim" allegedly used sentences that insulted Muslims.

The government has ordered the blocking of Raja Petra's Malaysia Today website two weeks ago, but the ban was lifted yesterday.

Second time under ISA

raja petra to police station on burma doctor sd 040908 03Raja Petra, popularly known by his initials RPK, is also alleged to have allowed comments to appear on his website that degraded Islam and Prophet Muhammad in an article entitled "Not all Arabs are descendants of the Prophet".

This is the second time Raja Petra, a father of five and part of the Selangor royal family, has been detained under ISA, which allows for indefinite detention without trial.

His first arrest under the tough security law was on April 11, 2001. RPK was detained as part of a crackdown against reformasi activists in which nine others were also held.

At that time, he was webmaster for the now defunct site.

Raja Petra was subsequently released after 53 days in detention. However, six of the reformasi leaders were eventually sent to the Kamunting Detention Centre in Taiping where they were detained for two years.

Charged earlier for sedition, defamation

The controversial blogger has earlier been charged with sedition and defamation after linking Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife to the sensational murder of a Mongolian woman.

Abdul Razak Baginda, a close friend of the deputy premier, has been charged with abetting the murder of 28-year-old Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu, whose body was blown up with explosives.

Two police officers from an elite force, whose duties included guarding the prime minister and his deputy, were also charged with the killing.

The ISA, which human rights groups have pushed to have abolished, provides for renewable two-year periods of detention without trial and is normally used against suspected terrorists.

It has also been used to lock up opponents of the government, and last year five Hindraf leaders were detained three weeks after mounting a mammoth rally in the streets of Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25.