Police today returned several items it confiscated during a raid on the Bersih headquarters last year for allegedly conducting activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy.
Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah, who along with secretariat officer Mandeep Singh collected the items from the Dang Wangi district police headquarters today, hailed the closure of the case as vindication for the organisation.
"Exactly one year and four days ago (Nov 18, 2016), the Bersih office was raided by a group of police officers from Bukit Aman.
“Ten laptops, two mobile phones and a number of documents were seized.
"I was then arrested under the draconian Security Offences (Special Measures) Act for 11 days, while 14 others were detained under different laws,” Maria said in a statement today.
"Today, police decided to return all items to Bersih... Bukit Aman police informed me that the investigation had been closed.
"Therefore it is proven that my detention under Sosma was without basis and was intended to intimidate me, my family, and Malaysians who love peace, democracy and justice," she added.
Maria was informed that the return of the items was based on instructions from the Attorney-General's Chambers.
The crackdown last year happened on the eve of the Bersih 5 rally.
The decision to close the case, Maria claimed, also proved the allegations of conducting activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy levelled at Bersih and affiliated NGOs were fabricated.
She stressed that the electoral reform group is committed to its work and will not bow to pressure, and urged the public to sign up with its Pemantau programme to become election observers ahead of the 14th general election.