• January 28, 2023

Malaysia Defies Court Order, Deporting Nearly 1,200 Myanmar Nationals : NPR

The Myanmar ship UMS Moattama, which was sent to return Myanmar migrants from Malaysia, is seen docked at a jetty outside of Kuala Lumpur on Monday. Mohd Rasfan / AFP via Getty Images Hide caption

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Mohd Rasfan / AFP via Getty Images

The Myanmar ship UMS Moattama, which was sent to return Myanmar migrants from Malaysia, is seen docked at a jetty outside of Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

Mohd Rasfan / AFP via Getty Images

Malaysia has brought back nearly 1,200 migrants from Myanmar despite a court order and is calling on human rights groups to stop the process.

The Myanmar nationals have been bus-loaded from across the country and loaded onto three naval vessels sent to retrieve them by Myanmar’s ruling junta, which took power in a coup earlier this month.

The lawsuit followed a stay by the Kuala Lumpur Supreme Court, which suspended the deportation of 1,086 refugees until a hearing on Wednesday.

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Malaysia claims the deportees were detained for immigration crimes.

The country’s immigration director general says no Rohingyas or asylum seekers were part of the group that was sent back to Myanmar.

“All returnees had agreed to be returned voluntarily without being coerced by any party,” said Khairul Dzaimee Daud in a statement, without explaining the government’s reasons for rejecting the High Court’s order.

Amnesty International and another rights group, Asylum Access, say that among the returned migrants are some ethnic groups who have been persecuted in Myanmar in the past. They also said that about a dozen children with at least one parent in Malaysia are among the deportees.

Amnesty and Asylum Access were “shocked by the authorities’ disregard for a court order to end deportation,” said Lim Wei Jiet, lawyer for the two rights groups. said the Australian.

“The rush with which this entire operation is being carried out, despite the clear order from the judiciary to do something else, raises further questions about the motives of the parties involved,” Lim said, adding that the deportations are legitimizing the junta in Myanmar and the exposure of the country’s ethnic minorities could jeopardize further military persecution.

Following the court’s decision, but before news of the deportations became known, Amnestys Malaysia Director Katrina Maliamauv urged Malaysia “to reconsider its plans to send this group of vulnerable people back to Myanmar, where human rights abuses are currently dangerously high”.

She has accused the country of detaining refugees under “terrible conditions”.

“But the options for people and their families cannot lie between being held indefinitely or putting their lives at risk by returning to a potentially dangerous situation,” Maliamauv said in a previous article Explanation.

Despite not being a signatory to the 1951 Refugee ConventionThe predominantly Muslim Malaysia has vowed not to deport Rohingyas or refugees registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. According to The Associated Press, around 180,000 refugees and asylum seekers from the United Nations, including around 100,000 Rohingya and other ethnic groups in Myanmar, have been able to stay on humanitarian grounds.

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