If I can blog, why can't he?

November 7, 2008

I can sit in my ergonomic chair as I type, comforted not only by the lower back support, but by the knowledge that whatever I type here will not get me thrown into the local jail. But others are not so lucky…..

…they don’t have an ergonomic chair. 

Yeah, maybe Raja Petra, Malaysian political commentator for the blog Malaysia Today, doesn’t have an ergonomic chair by his computer. But that’s not biggest denial of human rights he has suffered as a journalist.

Raja was detained in September, his second time in prison for blogging. His “devious” crime? He wrote of wrongdoing by Malaysian goverment officials. But they arrested him under the “Internal Security Act,” saying he threatened public security and caused racial tension by posting blog entries that ridiculed Islam.

The courts, recognizing his detention was unjust, ruled to release him today. But the law does not say he cannot be rearrested. And the government can appeal the ruling, landing him back in a prison where–I am sure–the chairs are not ergonomic.

Raja should have the same rights I do, under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to freedom of opinion and information.  But he doesn’t, and instead waits in prison while they decide his fate.

There might not even be *a* chair in there
There might not even be *a* chair in there

He’s what I’m thinking about this morning.