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Malaysia: Arrested Indians given access to families
December 17, 2007 17:27 IST
The Malaysian authorities have allowed five ethnic Indian leaders, held under a draconian security law for spearheading protest against alleged marginalisation of the community, access to their families.
Deputy Internal Security Minister Fu Ah Kiow said the families would have to apply and inform the commandant of the Kamunting detention centre, 200 km from Kuala Lumpur, prior to their visit to meet the leaders lodged there.
"As far as I am concerned, the five Hindraf leaders will be treated like any other detainee. I am not too sure how often they can visit the detainees but they will definitely be given access," he was quoted by Star newspaper as saying.
The five ethnic Indians were detained last Thursday under the Internal Security Act and slapped with a two-year detention each. Persons can be held under ISA for a period of two years without trial. This period can be extended if warranted.
The five � P Uthayakumar, R. Kenghadharan, M. Manoharan, V. Ganabathirau and Hindraf co-ordinator T. Vasanthakumar - have been jailed for sedition charges.
Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) called for a rally attended by over 20,000 ethnic Indians on November 25 to protest against alleged marginalisation of the community which forms nearly 8 per cent of the population in this Muslim-majority country.