Malaysian Police Fire Tear Gas At Protesters
Malaysian Police fired tear gas and water cannons at a protest of an estimated 10,000 demonstrators, who gathered in Kuala Lumpur to protest a law allowing detention without trial.
Local police said close to 600 people, including women and young people under 18, were arrested Saturday outside the national mosque and shopping mall.
The demonstration was the biggest demonstration in Kuala Lumpur in almost two years. The protesters were led by Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition leader, gathered at the national mosque and chanted "Allahu Akhbar (God Is Greatest) and "Down with the Government."
"We gather today to fight a cruel law under a cruel administration," Anwar told the rally.
Najib Razak, Malaysia's new Prime Minister, criticized the protest but has promised to review the legislation and released 13 detainees from ISA, Internal Security Act, on taking office in April.
Critics say the law is often used to detain outspoken government opponents. They have also condemned the secrecy and alleged torture linked to the use of the law. But some government officials say it is necessary for national security.