Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah has been arrested under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma).
In a text message to Malaysiakini, inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed this.
Maria was arrested yesterday after a police team from Bukit Aman together with officers from the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) raided the Bersih office in Petaling Jaya.
Also arrested was Bersih secretariat member Mandeep Singh.
During the two-hour raid, computers, mobile phones as well as documents related to Bersih’s bank accounts and payroll were confiscated.
Police are investigating Bersih under Section 124C of the Penal Code for attempts to carry out activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy.
This is after it was revealed that the electoral watchdog received funds from the Open Society Foundations, which is linked to billionaire George Soros.
Mandeep, on the other hand, was detained for rioting.
In a tweet, Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) described Maria’s arrest under Sosma as “shocking”.
"No remand hearing was held," added the lawyers' group.
Sosma, which may carry the death penalty for perpetrators, was enacted to replace the Internal Security Act.
Apart from Bersih, police are also investigating news portal Malaysiakini and the Bar Council under Section 124C with regard to the OSF funds.
Malaysiakini has denied claims that the funds which were given to KiniTV were used to topple the government, and explained that it was used to produce Sarawak-related programmes.- Mkini