Malaysian jailed for 10 years for insulting Islam on social media

The offense carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail or a fine of up to 50,000 ringgit ($12,228) or both. (File/AFP)
Updated 09 March 2019
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Malaysian jailed for 10 years for insulting Islam on social media

  • The sentence is believed to be the harshest such penalty on record in the Muslim-majority country
  • All four were charged under laws against causing racial disharmony, incitement, and misusing communications networks

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian was sentenced to more than 10 years’ jail and three others were charged over insults against Islam and the Prophet Muhammad on social media, police said on Saturday.
The sentence is believed to be the harshest such penalty on record in the Muslim-majority country, where concerns over racial and religious tensions have grown in recent months.
Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun said in a statement the person, who was not identified, had plead guilty to 10 charges of misusing communication networks.
The offense carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail or a fine of up to 50,000 ringgit ($12,228) or both.
The sentence was meted out consecutively, Mohamad Fuzi said.
Another social media user had also plead guilty and a sentencing hearing would be held on Monday. Two others had plead not guilty and were being held without bail.
All four were charged under laws against causing racial disharmony, incitement, and misusing communications networks.
“The police advise the public not to abuse social media or communication networks by uploading or sharing any form of provocation that can affect religious or racial sensitivities, causing racial tensions within this country’s diverse community,” Mohamad Fuzi said.
On Thursday, minister in charge of religious affairs Mujahid Yusof Rawa said the Islamic Affairs Department had set up a unit to monitor writings and communications insulting Islam and Muhammad.
He said the ministry would not compromise on any acts insulting the religion and called for punishments against those found guilty of such.


Journey home begins for Christchurch’s foreign victims

The body of Ansi Alibava, who was killed during the New Zealand mosque attacks, is carried upon arrival at Cochin International Airport in Kochi on March 25, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 25 March 2019
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Journey home begins for Christchurch’s foreign victims

  • The bodies of foreigners killed by an Australian white supremacist gunman in the South Island city on March 15 are only now beginning to arrive back home

WELLINGTON: The bodies of two Christchurch shooting victims arrived in India as the repatriation process gets underway for foreign nationals killed in the mosque massacre that claimed 50 lives, officials said Monday.
The Indian High Commission in Wellington said the bodies of the two had arrived in their homeland and a third was expected later Monday.
The relatives of another two Indian victims opted to have their loved ones buried in New Zealand, a consulate spokesman said.
The bodies of foreigners killed by an Australian white supremacist gunman in the South Island city on March 15 are only now beginning to arrive back home after delays stemming from the police investigation into the massacre.
The victims, who came from across the Muslim world, were gathered for Friday prayers at two Christchurch mosques when the killing spree took place.
Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old motivated by the white extremist belief that Muslims were “invading” Western countries, was arrested within minutes of the massacre and has been charged with murder.
The bodies of the Indian victims are believed to be among the first to be repatriated.
“I’m not sure about the status of bodies from other nationalities but I can say we went through the process as quickly as possible,” a spokesman for the Indian High Commission in Wellington said.
“We completed the procedure within a couple of days of the bodies being released.”
The two repatriated Indian victims are Ansi Karippakulam Alibava, 23, a masters student from Kerala, and Ozair Kadir, 24, an aspiring commercial pilot from Hyderabad city.
The remains of Mahboob Khokhar, a 65-year-old retiree who was visiting his son in Christchurch when he was killed, are en route to India and should arrive about 10:00 p.m. (0300 Tuesday GMT).
The Indians buried in New Zealand are father and son Asif and Ramiz Vora, originally from Gujarat, who had celebrated the birth of Ramiz’s daughter just days before the attack.