A few weeks after the coup, a Malaysian court ordered a suspension of a controversial plan to deport 1,200 Burmese detainees to their hometown in response to a final legal objection.
Immigrants, including vulnerable minority members, had already been taken by bus or truck to a military base on the west coast of Malaysia and loaded onto a waiting Myanmar Navy vessel.
The United States and the United Nations have criticized the plan, but rights groups said some of the people scheduled to be repatriated were asylum seekers.
Rights groups Amnesty International and Asylum Access have challenged in court, claiming that Malaysia violates international tariffs by sending vulnerable people back to potentially endangered countries.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court ordered a suspension of repatriation on Wednesday to allow hearing of the group’s bid to suspend deportation, their lawyer New Shinyu told AFP.
“The government needs to respect court orders and prevent one in 1,200 people from being deported today,” said Katrina Jorene Maliamauv, secretary general of Amnesty International Malaysia.
She urged authorities to grant UN refugee organizations access to migrants to be deported. Then they can evaluate whether they should be given refugee status.
“It’s important to note that the suspension of executions granted by the court does not mean that 1,200 people are safe from deportation. They face life-threatening risks,” she adds. I did.
“We urge the government to rethink its plans to send this group of vulnerable people back to Myanmar.”
Dozens of buses and trucks, previously carrying migrants and escorted by police cars, arrived at Lumut’s naval base, according to AFP journalists at the scene.
Myanmar troops seized power in early February, detained private leader Aung San Suu Kyi and launched a series of large-scale protests.
Malaysia initially expressed “serious concern” in a coup, but news came out a few days later that it had accepted an offer from the Myanmar junta to send warships to repatriate detainees.
Authorities claim that the repatriated people have committed crimes such as overstaying visas, and that there are no persecuted Rohingya minority members (not recognized as Myanmar citizens).
However, according to Lilianne Fan, international director of the Geutanyoe Foundation, which works with refugees, detainees include people in Kachin and Shan states who are in conflict with minority members of Christians.
Malaysian authorities have blocked UN refugee organizations from the Immigration Detention Center since late 2019. In other words, it is not possible to decide who should be given refugee status.
James Bowie Tan Bick, chairman of the Malaysia-based Chin Refugee Alliance, said he was “shocked” to find that Chin was among those deported.
“They are refugees from conflict areas,” he told AFP.
Malaysia is home to millions of migrants from poor parts of Asia who work in low-paying jobs such as construction. It comes not only from Myanmar but also from countries such as Bangladesh and Indonesia.
Malaysian Court Halts Myanmar Deportation After Outcry Source link Malaysian Court Halts Myanmar Deportation After Outcry