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Malaysia 14 August 2008

Court orders online newspaper editor to identify visitors to website

Reporters Without Borders condemns today’s decision by a Kuala Lumpur high court ordering the editor of the Malaysia Today online newspaper, Raja Petra Kamarudin, to reveal the identity of people who posted comments on his website, and to remove three articles that prompted a defamation action against him. Another hearing is due to be held on 2 September.

“The court order is invalid as it is only effective in Malaysia and Malaysia Today is hosted on a server in the United States,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This case should be taken up with a US court. We call for the withdrawal of the charges against Kamarudin.”

Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, a well known lawyer, sued Kamarudin on 13 August over three articles claiming that he was responsible for trumped-up sodomy charges that were recently brought against opposition parliamentarian Anwar Ibrahim after Anwar claimed he had enough support to take power. The articles accuse the lawyer of getting Anwar’s aide to make false statements against his employer.

Widely known as RPK, Kamarudin, 58, created the Malaysia Today website in 2004 after running the Free Anwar Campaign website (http://www.freeanwar.net), which began campaigning for the parliamentarian’s release when he was given a nine-year prison sentence in 1998 on corruption and sodomy charges. Anwar was released in 2004.

The three articles on RPK:
-  http://us3.malaysia-today.net/2008/content/view/10883/84/
-  http://www.malaysia-today.net/2008/content/view/10977/84/
-  http://www.malaysia-today.net/2008/content/view/11183/84/

More information about RPK

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