Malaysia has deported Saudi writer and journalist, Hamza Kashgari
, 23, sending him back to Saudi Arabia where he is accused of blasphemy. Kashgari left Malaysia in the custody of Saudi officials, in spite of pleas by human rights organizations that he should be allowed to be given leave to stay, as he faces a possible death sentence in Saudi.
reported Malaysia's Home Ministry issued a statement saying "Malaysia has a long-standing arrangement by which individuals wanted by one country are extradited when detained by the other, and (Kashgari) will be repatriated under this arrangement. The nature of the charges against the individual in this case are a matter for the Saudi Arabian authorities."
Kashgari's family retained lawyer Muhammad Afiq Mohamad Nor, who Aljazeera
reported has obtained a court order to prevent the deportation. He slammed the deportation as unlawful in light of he court order, saying "We are concerned that he would not face a fair trial back home and that he could face the death penalty if he is charged with apostasy."
Right wing Saudi clerics in the Kingdom are already baying for the blood of Kashgari, demanding he be punished for blasphemous writings concerning Prophet Muhammad. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International had implored Malaysia not to return Kashgari to Saudi, with HWR saying Malaysia should not be "complicit in sealing Kashgari's fate by sending him back."
Malaysian human rights lawyer Edmond Bon condemned the deportation, saying "Malaysia should have allowed him to seek asylum from the UN refugee agency to a country of his choice."