The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the decision by Malaysia’s Home Minister to detain blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin for two years under the country’s draconian Internal Security Act (ISA).
The order, signed on September 22 by Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar, extends Raja Petra’s detention for two years on the grounds that his writing poses a threat to “national security”.
Raja Petra has not been subject to a trial, and the order was issued despite ongoing habeas corpus proceedings by his lawyers.
Raja Petra is a blogger and editor of the political website Malaysia Today. He has run the popular alternative political website for two years, and has broken a string of controversial stories on the site including a series of accusations against senior government members.
Journalist Tan Hoon Cheng, a reporter with the Chinese language daily Sin Chew Daily, and opposition politician Teresa Kok were both detained last week under the ISA and subsequently released.
“Raja Petra’s detention sends a frightening message to critics of Malaysia’s Government that dissent will not be tolerated,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.
“In a time of political instability, a free media is all the more crucial to ensure proper democratic process. Far from setting an example in the region, Malaysia is hurtling down an anti-democratic and authoritarian path.”
The IFJ demands the Government release Raja Petra immediately and cease using the ISA to clamp down on journalism and free expression in Malaysia.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 in 122 countries worldwide