The ISA has been abused. It must go.
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Raja Petra sent to Kamunting
Sep 23, 08 9:34am Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin was sent to the Kamunting Detention Centre in Taiping, Perak this morning to begin his two-year detention without trial under the Internal Security Act.
Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar last night signed the detention order for the blogger to be held under section 8(1) of the tough security law. According to the Act, Raja Petra’s two-year detention period can be renewed indefinitely.
“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 today heard 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.
Judge Suraya Othman asked lawyers to make their submissions on the case on Oct 28.
Earlier this morning, Raja Petra’s wife Marina Lee Abdullah confirmed the police had informed her that the detention order had been issued by the minister yesterday.
“(Police) said my husband had 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.
According to journalists in Kamunting, Raja Petra arrived at the detention camp at 11.50am in a white van with heavily-tinted windows.
Ex-minister Zaid Ibrahim in court
Also present in the court this morning was ex-de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim (left in photo), who sat next to Marina in the courtroom.
Raja Petra, 58, was arrested along with two others two weeks ago and has been under police custody in an unknown location.
The other two – Sin Chew Daily senior journalist Tan Hoon Cheng, 33 and Selangor senior executive councillor and parliamentarian Teresa Kok, 43 – have since been freed.
Tan was released 18 hours after her arrest, while Kok was freed after seven days.
According to his lawyer J Chandra, Raja Petra was arrested for publishing articles on his news portal which allegedly tarnished the leadership of the country and insulted the sanctity of Islam.
The former newspaper columnist has been charged with sedition and defamation after linking Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife to the sensational murder of a Mongolian woman.