MARIA Chin Abdullah has been released after the leader of the Bersih 2.0 movement spent 11 days in detention under Malaysia’s Special Offences Special Measures Act 2012 (SOSMA) following her arrest the eve of the recent Bersih 5 rally.
Maria was being investigated under Section 124c of the Penal Code for engaging in activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy during her detention.
The electoral watchdog group confirmed the candlelight vigil scheduled for tonight at Dataran Merdeka will go on as planned and Maria will be in attendance.
The group, however, will not be gathering at the KL High Courts tomorrow, the day the courts were set to hear a habeas corpus application seeking her immediate release from detention.
Twitter has been buzzing over the news with many voicing their relief.
Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed to the News Straits Times that Maria was freed at 4.50pm from Bukit Aman.
Maria’s counsel claims she was kept in solitary confinement in a small windowless room without a bed and lights turned on all day and night.
Maria was one of the several activists and lawmakers nabbed the day before the rally but unlike Chin they had been issued two-day remand orders.
Bersih Rally 5
Protesters marched from various points outside the city centre towards Dataran Merdeka (independence square), the chosen venue for the event. However, barricades and blockades set up by the 7,000 police personnel deployed for the event stopped the protesters from entering the historic square.Tens of thousands of Malaysians flooded the streets of the capital on November 19 for Bersih 5, to demand democratic reforms, a clean government and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s resignation.
The group then made its way to the KLCC shopping centre, the site of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers where they remained until the end of the rally.