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Malaysia: Key government critic jailed under anti-extremism law

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Kuala Lumpur (CNN)The arrest of a prominent Malaysian civil rights leader under a controversial anti-extremism law has sparked outrage at the government of embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Maria Chin Abdullah was arrested on Friday on the eve of a mass rally organized by Bersih, a coalition of pro-democracy groups fighting for clean and fair elections.
    Thousands of Malaysians took to the streets of the country’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, on Saturday to call for Najib’s resignation.

    Shahrul

    ‘Maria’s not a terrorist’

    Regular Malaysians CNN spoke to were shocked by Chin’s arrest. Murina Pawanteh, who works in public relations, said Bersih was a peaceful protest.
    “I would like to hear from the authorities why Chin has been arrested in SOSMA and put in (solitary confinement),” she said.
    “It’s a very simple thing. If the government isn’t transparent about it, then of course we will question.”
    Journalism student Bala Murugan said Chin “isn’t a terrorist.”
    “She didn’t cause terror and she didn’t create panic,” he said. “What she has done is actually to unite the people of Malaysia.”
    Steve Lam, a university lecturer, said that Chin’s detention was “ridiculous” and called for the authorities to ensure that she was held under proper conditions.

    Originally found athttp://edition.cnn.com/