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Jailed Malaysia opposition leader receives royal pardon

[JURIST] Former Malaysian prime minister Anwar Ibrahim received a royal pardon Wednesday and was released after serving three years of his five-year sentence.

He was sentenced for sodomy in proceedings that were widely seen as politically motivated [JURIST report]. Amnesty International had previously called [JURIST report] Anwar's imprisonment a human rights violation.

Malaysia held elections on May 9—their first elections in which an opposition coalition emerged victorious. Newly elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed now holds the distinction of being the oldest head of state at the age of 92.

Anwar's release was a consequence of the election results. Mahathir was allowed to lead the opposition if he promised to pardon Anwar [BBC report] in case he won the election. Anwar, shortly after being released from jail, declared the election result "a new dawn" for Malaysia.

Meanwhile, former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has been restricted from leaving the country [BBC report], and authorities raided his house on Wednesday.

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