photo: malaysiakini

Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah released yesterday afternoon

Maria Chin Abdullah, Bersih chairperson, was released on 28 Nov from her arrest under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma), but no explanation was given for her release.

Malaysia Kini reported, her lawyer Ambiga Sreenevasan said she was released after 10 days in detention, at the Bukit Aman police headquarters yesterday, a day before her habeas corpus hearing.

“Initially, they said they will record her statement. So I went inside to accompany her as they took her statement,” Maria’s lawyer said.

“At the end of it, they got an order to release her. We were really stunned and both of us broke down,” Ambiga told Malaysiakini.

Bernama wrote, Rusdi Mohd Isa, the Kuala Lumpur police CID chief, informed Maria was released at 4.30pm but refused to say more.

Maria was driven immediately to her home in Petaling Jaya and were greeted by her sons.

photo: malaysiakini
photo: malaysiakini

She was arrested on 18 Nov, a day before the rally of Bersih 5, and  was investigated under Section 124C of the Penal Code for engaging in activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy and held under Sosma.

Her lawyer said the Attorney-General’s chambers did not file an affidavit in reply to her habeas corpus application.

Maria said she did not know where she was held as she was blindfolded each time she was moved out of her cell.

Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) said she was kept in solitary confinement in a small windowless room which only had a wooden bed with no mattress and given meagre meal.

Police chief Khalid Abu Bakar had promised that Maria’s well-being was being looked after and that she was provided a mattress and copy of the Quran.

She was released while the office of women’s rights NGO Empower, which she had once led, was raided by police who seized documents relating to its finances, citing Sosma.

photo: malaysiakini
photo: malaysiakini

At Dataran Merdeka she was surrounded by about 600 supporters who ignored heavy rain to celebrate her release