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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 December, 2003, 15:38 GMT
Malaysian opposition site removed
By Jonathan Kent
BBC correspondent in Malaysia

Malaysia's jailed former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim
The website representing jailed Anwar was a key centre of opposition to the government
A British-based web hosting company has been accused of political censorship after shutting down a major Malaysian opposition website.

The Free Anwar campaign says its site was taken offline without notice on 11 December.

Site editor Raja Petra Kamarudin says the hosting company, Easyspace, thought some of the material published on his site was considered "inflammatory".

He says the company failed to specify which articles had caused offence.

Opposition cornerstone

Raja Petra says he has so far tried unsuccessfully to retrieve his campaigning organisation's files from Easyspace - based in southern England - so his site can be set up elsewhere if its current hosts will not reinstate it.

Easyspace also has offices in the Thai capital, Bangkok.

Freeanwar.com is the main vehicle for supporters of Anwar Ibrahim.

He is currently serving prison sentences totalling 15 years after being jailed in 1999 and 2000 on charges of corruption and sodomy.

His trials were widely criticised as flawed by the US and British Governments and by the European Union.

Washington has listed him as a political prisoner.


The internet provides the only unrestricted political space in Malaysia.

Broadcast media are tightly controlled by the state and most of the country's newspapers are directly owned by or linked to political parties within the government.

There are severe restrictions on opposition parties' newspapers limiting the frequency of their publication and capping their distribution.

Raja Petra was among a group of opposition activists detained under Malaysia's Internal Security Act in 2001.

He was released after 60 days.

Six others arrested with him were held in detention for a further two years without charge or trial.

Easyspace was not immediately available for comment.

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