The long arm of the law shouldn’t be helping theocratic hell-holes like Saudi Arabia to arrest people for non-crimes like saying something critical about Mohammed.
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.
Police in Kuala Lumpur said Hamza Kashgari, 23, was detained at the airport “following a request made to us by Interpol” the international police cooperation agency, on behalf of the Saudi authorities.
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”.
Notice that that “insulted” in the first para should have scare-quotes on it. That tweet is not “insulting.” It’s thoughtful dissent, at most.
Notice the disgusting fact that
30 13 thousand people are willing to say he should be killed for uttering such a mild and thoughtful dissent.
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.
Religious offences should not be extraditable. Nobody should ever be extradited to Saudi Arabia for any perceived “religious offence” under any circumstances.
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.
Oh just leave off the last bit, dammit. What was unwise about it? Unless “unwise” just means “risky to self,” but it can’t mean that, because Saudi Arabia wouldn’t be pursuing Kashgari for risking his safety nor would Interpol help Saudi Arabia for that reason. Russell apparently felt some horrible need to appease the murderous theocratic bullies by pretending to think Kashgari really did do something just a little bit wrong. Don’t do that.