PETALING JAYA: Bersih 2.0 c hai r man Maria Chin Abdullah, who was detained for 10 days under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), expressed joy and relief over her surprise release yesterday.
She was f r e e d yest e r day afternoon – a day before a habeas corpus hearing challenging her detention was to be heard in the High Court today.
Maria Chin thanked her supporters and the public for campaigning for her release.
“I had no idea how much was being done to fight for my release. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank all of you,” she said.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar told theSun she was taken to Bukit Aman where her papers were processed and released at 2.30pm.
Khalid declined to comment further.
Speaking to reporters at her home, Maria Chin said despite her release, she is considering legal action against the authorities over her detention.
“Following the denial of requests to see my family and lawyers during my detention, I am considering legal action for what I feel is illegal detention.
“When I was in detention, I was being kept in circumstances where I had neither any idea of time nor direction.
“It was meant to disorientate a person and it is very humiliating for anyone to go through it,” she said, adding that the room she was held in was kept lit 24 hours a day.
She said during her detention, she was interrogated non-stop for hours on various issues, including the Global Bersih movement, the Open Source Foundation (OSF), Bersih 2.0’s accounts and its social media management.
“For the first three days, I was questioned for almost the entire day, which probably began at about 9am and ended after 6pm,” she said.
“After the fourth day, the daily interrogation became less ... to roughly about six hours,” said the 60-year-old mother of three.
She said despite her release, the authorities are still investigating the case and that she could be called up again if necessary.
Last night, she went out to meet Bersih 2.0 supporters who had been holding a candlelight vigil on the fringes of Dataran Merdeka over the week.
Maria Chin reached home at about 5pm and her three children – Azumin Yunus, 22, Aziman Yunus, 21, and Azemi Yunus, 19 – rushed out to greet her.
They were all overjoyed and in tears to have their mother back home.
Many of her relatives and neighbours were also on hand to welcome her home.
Police had detained her on Nov 18 under Section 124C of the Penal Code that criminalises attempts to commit activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy, and invoked Sosma, which allows them to hold her without trial for up to 28 days.
From left: Azumin, Maria Chin, Azemi and Aziman in front of their house after the Bersih 2.0 chairman was released from detention.