Following the court decision vowed to keep pushing for equality saying "they are trying to stifle us into abandoning our cause".

 

"We will continue with our legal, peaceful and international struggle," he told The Associated Press.

 

The protesters were charged this week with attempted murder in connection with an injury sustained by a policeman as authorities moved to break up tens of thousands of protesters in Kuala Lumpur.

 

The acccused also face charges of causing damage to public property and illegal assembly, with some charged with rioting.

 

The rally was organised by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) to protest what it says are racially discriminatory policies, allegations the government has denied.

 

The policeman, Dadi Abdul Rani, was allegedly attacked with bricks and iron pipes during the demonstration near one of Malaysia's major Hindu temples just outside of Kuala Lumpur.

 

The protesters are demanding fair treatment saying the government's affirmative action programme favouring ethnic Malays amounts to racial discrimination.

 

Indians are Malaysia's third-largest ethnic minority after the Chinese.