THE GUARDIAN--Interpol has been accused of abusing its powers after Saudi Arabia used the organisation's red notice system to get a journalist arrested in Malaysia for insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
Kashgari, a newspaper columnist, fled Saudi Arabia after posting a tweet on the prophet's birthday that sparked more than 30,000 responses and several death threats. The posting, which was later deleted, read: "I have loved things about you and I have hated things about you and there is a lot I don't understand about you … I will not pray for you."
More than 13,000 people joined a Facebook page titled "The Saudi People Demand the Execution of Hamza Kashgari".
Clerics in Saudi Arabia called for him to be charged with apostasy, a religious offence punishable by death. Reports suggest that the Malaysian authorities intend to return him to his native country.
Kashgari's detention has triggered criticism by human rights groups of Malaysia's decision to arrest the journalist and of Interpol's cooperation in the process.
Jago Russell, the chief executive of the British charity Fair Trials International, which has campaigned against the blanket enforcement of Interpol red notices, said: "Interpol should be playing no part in Saudi Arabia's pursuit of Hamza Kashgari, however unwise his comments on Twitter.
"If an Interpol red notice is the reason for his arrest and detention it would be a serious abuse of this powerful international body that is supposed to respect basic human rights (including to peaceful free speech) and to be barred from any involvement in religious or political cases." (Read more.)
Friday, February 10, 2012
Saudis Use Interpol to Have Journalist Arrested for Criticizing Muhammad
This is horrifying. Interpol (International Criminal Police Organization) is a worldwide network of police departments established to help countries capture criminals who cross borders. Saudi Arabia recently used an Interpol alert to have Hamza Kashgari arrested in Malaysia, where he fled for his life after Saudis began calling for his death. By helping the Saudis capture Kashgari, Interpol has become an international Sharia enforcement unit. People who flee the Muslim world to escape punishment can now be rounded up by Interpol and returned to their countries to face Islamic penalties for apostasy, criticizing Muhammad, etc.