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Malaysian dissident bash claim 


Malaysian political dissident Tian Chua said today that he was punched by a plainclothes special branch officer before being made to accompany police who raided his Kuala Lumpur office.

 Witnesses said Mr Tian, 35, who heads a coalition campaigning for political reforms, was barefoot and handcuffed. Eight police officers searched his office and confiscated political leaflets.

 ``He said he was assaulted by a plainclothes special branch officer and he showed me a cut on the inside of his lip,'' said Subramanian Arutchelvan, from the Suaram human rights group. Mr Arutchelvan went to Mr Tian's office when he heard that the raid was taking place.

 Mr Tian was arrested on Saturday night after a rally outside a Kuala Lumpur mosque demonstrating against the 20 September arrest of the former Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim. He was remanded until 30November pending further investigations into his involvement in the political reform movement.

 Although he has not yet been formally charged with any offences, he has been refused bail and the High Court today refused to hear an appeal on the matter.

 Mr Arutchelvan said yesterday that Mr Tian's family had not been able to see him at the police station where he is being held.

 Mr Tian, who is chairman of the People's Coalition for Democracy, has already filed a complaint against the police officers who allegedly beat him in September. He was in custody at that time for his alleged involvement in an illegal ``reformasi'' rally.

 Meanwhile, the Malaysian Government has not yet released an internal police report on Mr Anwar's alleged bashing by police on the night of his arrest.

 Mr Anwar has been charged with interfering in a police inquiry into sexual misconduct allegations against him and refused bail