Malaysia cracks down ahead of planned mass rally
Malaysian authorities have taken action to prevent a mass political rally from going ahead this weekend by sealing off a square in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, and serving a court order banning the protest.
City authorities have banned tomorrow's sit-in at Kuala Lumpur's Dataran Merdeka, fencing off the downtown venue from this morning, till Sunday.
Police also served a court order to protest organisers, Bersih.
The order bans the public from gathering near the square and warns people to stay away.
Bersih's chairwoman, Ambiga Sreenivasan insisted that the gathering would go ahead at the square and accused the city's mayor of abusing his power by banning the rally.
Bersih has rejected an offer to hold the protest in alternative venues, including stadiums, saying it is too late to change the location.
The police crackdown on the electoral reform rally organised by the group last year drew national and international condemnation.
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