Hamza Kashgari

Hamza Kashgari

Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
21° 32' 35.9988" N, 39° 10' 22.0008" E
Status: Threatened
Threatened on 08 Feb 2012
Campaign Site: http://supporthamza.wordpress.com/

Hamza Kashgari is a Saudi blogger and journalist who is currently facing extradition to Saudi Arabia from Malaysia, where he fled on February 8 after tweets he wrote about the Prophet Mohammed provoked clerics to demand he be tried for apostasy and members of the public to call for his murder. After arriving in Malaysia on his way to a third country, however, he was arrested by security officials at Kuala Lumpur airport, according to a report from Human Rights Watch. Kashgari is currently under threat of extradition to Saudi Arabia.  The Guardian has reported Malaysian sources as stating that the request for extradition came from Interpol, a charge that Interpol denies.

Kashgari was a columnist for Jeddah-based daily Al Bilad until last week when, following public outrage over the tweets, Saudi Minister of Culture and Information Abdul Aziz Khoja gave orders that Kashgari "not write in any Saudi paper or magazine."  Ironically, Khoja also tweeted the order.  Although Kashgari retracted his statements, deleted his Twitter account, and apologized for the comments, threats to his life continued unabated, with his home address posted online and a monetary reward offered to his killers.

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