Malaysian police detains democracy group chief, releases on bail

October 29, 2016 7:37 AM EDT

Pro-democracy group "Bersih" (Clean) chairwoman Maria Chin Abdullah (C) rallies supporters as they prepare to march towards Dataran Merdeka in Malaysia's capital city of Kuala Lumpur August 29, 2015. REUTERS/Edgar Su

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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian police released the chairman of democracy group Bersih on bail on Saturday, after detaining her for more than two hours for questioning, just weeks before a big protest rally planned against Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The group said Maria Chin Abdullah was arrested in the Borneo state of Sabah for distributing flyers promoting the group's upcoming rally in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur on November 19. The Sabah police declined to comment.

The rally, called Bersih 5, is organized to call for the resignation of Najib to facilitate a probe into a scandal involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a state fund set up by the prime minister.

More than 200,000 people turned out in Kuala Lumpur last August for a similar rally organized by Bersih, demanding the resignation of Najib.

(Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Stephen Powell)

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