Press Statement

Lawyers for Liberty is simply astonished and outraged at Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein and PDRM’s continuing attempt to spin further lies and deceit over the illegal and unconstitutional detention and deportation of Hamza Kashgari by now alleging or insinuating that he is a “criminal” or “terrorist” wanted by his home country.

The truth is Hamza had sent a few tweets on the Prophet Muhammad which he has since deleted and apologized. It must be noted a similar poem on the prophet was published on his blog a year ago but did not receive any negative reaction from anybody. More importantly, he belongs to a group of emerging young pro-democracy activists which among others had supported the Arab Spring. Just days before he fled Saudi Arabia, the police stopped him and his group of young activists from organizing a series of forums to show solidarity with the Syrian uprising. He has also been said to have been monitored by the Saudi Intelligence more than 8 months ago.

The Home Minister and PDRM have further backtracked on Interpol’s involvement after the agency had denied requesting Hamza’s arrest. The initial claim of Interpol’s involvement was a blatant attempt to varnish the arrest with a veneer of international legitimacy since the arrest could not be justified under international law as Hamza was clearly a political refugee.

It should be noted that when Hamza was arrested on 9 February at KLIA, he was trying to leave the country to New Zealand and not upon arrival in Malaysia as claimed by the authorities. This is another lie perpetrated in order to avoid embarrassment to the Saudi authorities that they have allowed Hamza to enter the country on 7 February.

The cold hard truth is that Malaysia has bent over backwards to please Saudi Arabia, breached international law by not allowing Hamza to seek asylum and instead handed him on a silver platter to his persecutors and condemned him to torture and near certain death.

The Home Minister and PDRM have obliterated whatever rule of law and due process left in Malaysia. They have resisted all attempts by Hamza’s lawyers to meet him, detained him in a secret location, cancelled his visa without a reason or hearing, and deported him in unholy haste even though they knew that his lawyers were challenging the detention and have already acquired an interim court injunction (widely tweeted and reported by the online media, served on the Immigration authorities, and faxed to the Home Minister and IGP’s offices).

Lawyers for Liberty will continue to campaign for Hamza’s release and have filed a habeas corpus application today to seek among others, a declaration that Hamza’s arrest and detention were unlawful. The matter has been fixed for hearing on Tuesday, 14 February, 9.30am at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, Jalan Duta Court Complex.

Released by:
Lawyers for Liberty
13 February 2012

For more information, please contact Ms Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, LFL campaign coordinator at: [email protected] and or +6012 4651671