Malaysian Court to Hear Hindu Man's Lawsuit After Family Seized by Islamic Authorities

April 24, 2007

Source: International Herald Tribune

Wire Service: AP

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: A Malaysian court agreed Tuesday to quickly hear a lawsuit by a Hindu man who has accused Islamic authorities of illegally detaining his wife and five children, his lawyer said.

Lawyers for Marimuthu Periasamy, an ethnic Indian rubber plantation worker, filed the suit last Thursday asking the High Court in central Selangor state to order the state's Islamic Department to produce his family in court so they can be freed.

Officials detained Marimuthu's wife, Raimah Bibi Noordin, also an ethnic Indian, and five of their six children on April 2 and sent them to a Malay Muslim village for religious rehabilitation after deciding she was a Muslim and her marriage to a Hindu was illegal.

The court scheduled a hearing for May 3, one of the earliest possible dates, said Ram Karpal Singh, one of Marimuthu's lawyers. Malaysia has three public holidays over the next week