July 16, 2007
Prisoner of Conscience
Snarkmarket favorite Rachel Leow reports on the politically-motivated imprisonment of a Malaysian blogger:
Nathaniel Tan, a prominent political blogger, activist and staff member of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) was detained incommunicado and was not given any grounds for his arrest, according to Malaysiakini. He was detained by three plainclothed policemen at 4:30 p.m. on 13 July in his office at Phileo Damansara.
According to Malaysiakini, police seized Nat’s laptop, CDs, personal computer, and oddly enough, his computer monitor.
Ng Eng Kiat, a colleague and part-time journalist who had been present at the time of arrest, said police had not given a clear reason for Nat’s arrest. Even when asked directly, the policemen had assured them that it was not an arrest. They “hanya nak siasat sedikit” (just wanted to chat). Upon complying, however, Nat was, as Jeff Ooi dryly puts it, “spirited away” (that is to say, categorically not arrested).
Tan is still in custody. It’s interesting to see an earlier version of the story on Rachel’s blog — in some ways I prefer it.
Because I cannot resist going meta on these things: I like Rachel’s work on this a lot because it is citizen journalism in a deeper than usual sense — not just snapshots from a scene, mutely presented, but a smart, independent analysis of an important story in a situation where the pro media, such as it is, just isn’t cutting it.
See also (though less urgently): Off the Bus.
Incidentally: I am reminded of my days writing letters in MSU’s chapter of Amnesty International. It’s been a while since I checked in with Amnesty… I wonder if they are doing anything new or Web 2.0-y?