Malaysia detains about 60 activists ahead of rally

AP News
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Posted: Jun 26, 2011 2:35 AM
Malaysia detains about 60 activists ahead of rally

Activists say Malaysian police detained dozens of opposition supporters amid efforts to prevent a massive rally seeking electoral transparency.

Authorities detained about 60 people in various towns while some of them were distributing political leaflets Saturday. Many were released after several hours of questioning, while the others were expected to be freed soon.

Human rights lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar on Sunday described the police action as "a campaign of preemptive arrests" amid plans by independent activists to gather tens of thousands of people for an opposition-backed rally on July 9.

National police chief Ismail Omar said Malaysians should shun the rally because it could spark tensions.

General elections are widely expected within a year.