Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Free Raja Petra Kamarudin!

Raja Petra Kamarudin is a Malaysian blogger, and editor of the anti-government Malaysia Today website. Ten days ago he was arrested over posts supposedly insulting Islam. Today, the government announced that he would be detained under Malaysia's draconian Internal Security Act. He will receive no trial, and his detention is purely at the pleasure of the Home Minister. While the term is officially for two years, it can be renewed indefinitely.

Detention without trial is a fundamental abuse of human rights. Indefinite detention without trial is worse. But this is what the Malaysian government is doing to its critics in its desperate struggle to stay in power. If Raja Petra is lucky, that struggle will be unsuccessful, the government will fall, and he will be freed. Otherwise, we could be seeing a lot more indefinite detentions in Malaysia...