Malaysia Uses Tear Gas to Repel Protesters

More than 1,600 people were arrested in Malaysia on Saturday after protesters clashed with police, who in turn used tear gas to turn back the activists seeking electoral reforms.

At least a dozen people were hurt in the ensuing chaos that followed the rounds of tear gas fired by police, reports said. Among those hurt were former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who fell down during one of the commotions caused by the police’s use of tear gas. Police had earlier used barbed wires to barricade sections of downtown Kuala Lumpur to prevent protesters from advancing. Several people were reportedly seen bleeding after the melee, but Malaysian authorities declined to give any information regarding the number of injured.

Anwar’s daughter, Nurul Izzah, condemned the excessive use of force by the police and criticized the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, and Prime Minister Najib Razak’s political party, UMNO. “We are not criminals, we are just asking for free and fair elections,” she said. “Many innocent people were injured. We condemn this act of cruelty by UMNO and Barisan Nasional.”