Malaysia To Deport Saudi Accused Of Prophet Insult

Published February 12, 2012 7:00AM (EST)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian authorities say they will deport a Saudi journalist accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad on Twitter, despite concerns from rights groups that he may be persecuted at home.

Jiddah-based newspaper columnist Hamza Kashgari was detained Thursday upon his arrival in Malaysia. Some Saudis have reportedly made death threats against him or called for him to face criminal charges over remarks he tweeted that many considered offensive.

Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Sunday that the 23-year-old Kashgari would be deported and that any charges against him are "a matter for the Saudi Arabian authorities."

Muhammad Afiq Mohamad Nor, a lawyer appointed by Kashgari's family, said he had obtained a court order to halt the Saudi's deportation.

By Salon Staff

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