Sep 23, 2008

Raja Petra detained for 2 years

A prominent political blogger was jailed for two years under a strict security law that can keep him in prison indefinitely, a lawyer said today. Online commentator Raja Petra Kamarudin, known for his anti-government views, was already in police custody and was served a detention order last night, said his lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar.

Another of his lawyers, J. Chandra, confirmed that Raja Petra has been sent to Kamunting under Section 8(1) of the ISA which states that "if the Minister is satisfied that the detention of any person is necessary with a view to preventing him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of Malaysia or any part thereof or to the maintenance of essential services therein or the economic life thereof, he may make an order (hereinafter referred to as a detention order) directing that the person be detained for any period not exceeding two years."

(Malaysiakini) Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin will be sent to the Kamunting Detention Centre in Taiping, Perak today to begin his two-year detention under the Internal Security Act, said his lawyers.


Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar had signed his detention order last night for the blogger to be held without trial under section 8(1) of the tough security law. Under the Act, the government can renew his detention indefinitely.

Lawyers said the police had informed them this morning that they would be taking Raja Petra to the detention centre.

"The act by the minister to sign the section 8 order yesterday is completely unacceptable," said Raja Petra's lead lawyer Malik Imtiaz.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court is to hear a habeas corpus bid by Raja Petra's lawyers to overturn the detention of the controversial blogger today.

Habeas corpus is a writ ordering prisoners to be brought before a judge to ascertain if there are any procedural defects which could render their detention unlawful.

The detention order of Raja Petra has "thrown a spanner" in the efforts to get the release of the well-known blogger.

Raja Petra's wife Marina Lee Abdullah confirmed that the police had informed her that the detention order had been issued by the minister yesterday.

"(Police) said my husband has been sent to Kamunting this morning and that he will remain there for two years with no trial. This is the worst news I can receive but we will keep fighting for his release," she said, holding back tears.

"This is dirty foul play by the government as they know that we are in the process of fighting for his release in the court but I was expecting this," she told AFP.


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