Six Malaysians were on Wednesday charged with sedition for participating in last month’s “illegal” demonstration against the move by the Selangor state authorities to relocate a Hindu temple.

Six others were charged for “illegal assembly.” The accused in the “sedition case,” first produced in a Sessions Court at Shah Alam, were served with an alternative charge of wounding the religious sentiments of the ethnic Indians.

Penalties vary for proven sedition and the other offence of hurting the religious sensitivity of any community in multiracial Malaysia, where Malay-Muslims are in a majority. And, Malaysian leaders have called for communal amity.

Those charged in the “sedition” case were produced in a Magistrate’s Court as well. All 12 were later released on bail. And, according to Malaysia’s national news agency, all the accused pleaded not guilty.

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