Indians held in Malaysia will be protected: US

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Washington, Dec 14: The Bush Administration has expressed hope that the ethnic Indians detained in Malaysia would be provided full protections under Malaysian law and would be given due process.

In reply to a question, State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said yesterday that the US expect's, ''they would be accorded all the rights accorded to any other citizen and that this be done in a speedy and transparent manner.'' ''I would also reiterate that it is our firm position that those individuals who want to peacefully express themselves in a political forum or any other forum should be allowed to do so,'' McCormack added.

According to reports from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia yesterday detained indefinitely a group of five ethnic Indian activists under its internal security law.

The arrests were made in connection with last month's anti government demonstration staged by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) to protest against what they called 'racial discrimination'.

Indians make up about 7 per cent of Malaysia population.

UNI

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