Malaysian prosecutors have charged 11 ethnic Indian activists with being members of an outlawed group linked to recent protests against racial discrimination.
The charges are an apparent attempt to thwart what authorities consider a threat to multiracial stability in the ethnic Malay Muslim-majority nation.
Lawyer P Uthayakumar said Wednesday that the 11 men pleaded innocent to charges of being members of the Hindu Rights Action Force. They face up to three years in prison if convicted.
The government banned the group in 2008 after it rallied tens of thousands of people in a demonstration seeking more economic and social help for ethnic Indians. Activists associated with the group organized protests in the past month but attracted only a few hundred people.