Saudi blogger’s lawyers file for habeas corpus

(The Malaysian Insider) — Lawyers acting for Hamza Kashgari today filed a habeas corpus application challenging the Saudi Arabian blogger’s detention here last week while he was en route to New Zealand to seek asylum from persecution back home.


The application is, however, academic as authorities yesterday repatriated Kashgari back to Saudi Arabia under a shroud of secrecy, where he will face charges of blasphemy.

Blasphemy attracts the death penalty under the Middle Eastern nation’s strict laws.

Today’s application was filed by lawyers Muhammad Afiq Mohamad Noor and Murni Hidayah Anuar at the High Court here, pursuant to a court injunction issued yesterday to block the deportation of Kashgari.

The injunction was not issued in time to stop authorities from sending Kashgari home.

Named as respondents in the application were the Inspector-General of Police, Director-General of Immigration, the home minister and the government.

Kashgari had allegedly posted the offending comments on his Twitter feed the weekend before last, which coincided with Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.

It sparked thousands of outraged comments and calls for his execution on Twitter and other social networking sites, Reuters reported.

The exact nature of his comments cannot be verified as he later deleted them, but media reported that one of them reflected his contradictory views of the Prophet.