Malaysia detains Australian senator at airport

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01:23 PM February 16th, 2013

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February 16th, 2013 01:23 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysian immigration authorities have detained an Australian senator who flew into Kuala Lumpur to speak with officials about upcoming Malaysian elections.

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon has made statements considered critical of Malaysia’s government ahead of general elections that must be held before the end of June.

Xenophon had planned to meet next week with Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as well as a Cabinet minister and electoral authorities to discuss polling transparency issues.

He said he was taken into custody when he arrived at a Kuala Lumpur airport Saturday and told he was on a security watch list.

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr called for the immediate release of Xenophon, who is expected to be deported Saturday night.

Malaysian Home Ministry representatives could not be immediately reached.

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