Fear for deported Saudi 'ridiculous', says Malaysian home minister

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The Independent Online

The Malaysian government has defended its decision to deport a young Saudi journalist who faces a possible death penalty at home for allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohamed on Twitter.

Human rights groups have condemned Malaysia – but the home minister Hishammuddin Hussein said his country was not a safe haven for fugitives.

Hamza Kashgari, 23, a columnist on a newspaper in Jedda, was detained at a Malaysian airport while in transit on Thursday, and deported on Sunday.

Mr Hussein said allegations that Mr Kashgari could be tortured and killed were "ridiculous" because Saudi Arabia was a respectable country.