Social Issues

Malaysia court authorizes deportation of 114 Myanmar nationals

Bangkok, Dec 13 (EFE).- The Kuala Lumpur High Court lifted Tuesday the stay on the deportation of 114 Myanmar nationals who had been held in the country since February 2021, the nonprofit Amnesty International (AI) reported.

This will allow the government to continue its plans to deport them despite the potential danger they face in Myanmar.

“This court decision demonstrates how despite international outcry, calls to halt the forcible return of people from Myanmar continue to be ignored. The government is determined to deport people instead of finding solutions that safeguard the rights and security of people from Myanmar,” said a joint statement by Amnesty Malaysia and the NGO Asylum Access Malaysia.

In February 2021, AI and Asylum Access Malaysia filed a judicial review to challenge the deportation of 1,200 people to Myanmar.

However, despite a stay order on the deportation by the court, 1,086 of them were still deported to Myanmar, while at least 114 were held back after testing positive for Covid-19.

In May, the Malaysian government formalized a petition to the court to lift the stay on the deportation, which the court eventually did on Tuesday.

According to AI, the deportation means sending these people “back to a violent and dangerous situation” due to the ongoing crisis in Myanmar since the military coup on Feb.1, 2021.

“Despite today’s lifting of the stay of deportation, we strongly urge the government to reconsider its plan. We continue to call for our leaders to respect human rights and international law,” said the joint statement.

“People from Myanmar should be allowed to remain safely, and not detained, in Malaysia while their status is regularized, and not be forcibly returned to the country in any way while Myanmar remains in a state of unrest,” it added.

In this regard, the nonprofits stressed that Malaysia’s new government, formed after last November’s elections and led by Anwar Ibrahim, should “end its dishonest approach of criticizing the Myanmar military authorities while continuing to quietly subject people to refoulement.”

The military coup in Myanmar plunged the country into a deep economic, political and social crisis with brutal repression that has killed at least 2,572 people, while more than 16,000 have been arbitrarily detained, according to data from the nonprofit Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. EFE


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