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Leading blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin released

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders hails the 7 November 2008 release of online journalist Raja Petra Kamaruddin, founder and editor of the Malaysia Today website ( ). Also known as "RPK", he had been detained since 12 September under section 8 of the Internal Security Act (ISA), which permits detention without trial for two years.

"We are pleased to learn that the judge who ordered his immediate release said the government had failed to give sufficient grounds for holding him," Reporters Without Borders said. "A Malaysian court has not taken such a decision on the ISA since 1997."

The press freedom organisation added: "This is an important day for free expression in Malaysia and for RPK, who will able to rejoin his family even if the authorities are clearly still keep
ing him under surveillance. The ISA is now undoubtedly a major obstacle to free expression for journalists, bloggers and activists in Malaysia."

On 7 November, as Kamaruddin was led into the courtroom in Shah Alam, near Kuala Lumpur, his wife, Marina Lee, told the Reporters Without Borders correspondent: "I cannot find the words to express my joy. I am eternally grateful to Reporters Without Borders for its support. We are going to continue fighting for the ISA's repeal, so that this law can no longer be used against my husband or anyone else."

RPK was brought to the court at around 3 p.m. (local time) to be formally released by the judge. His lawyers told Reporters Without Borders: "This is an historic decision in Malaysia's history, a sign of the change to come." His lawyers had petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus on 22 October on the grounds that his arrest was unconstitutional.

Updates the Kamaruddin case:

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