Malaysian court: stop deporting 114 other Myanmar nationals human rights news

The High Court in Kuala Lumpur has ordered to stay the deportation of 114 Burmese migrants, the only remaining of a group of 1,200 people that the Malaysian government has returned to Myanmar in defiance of an earlier ruling.

Wednesday’s court ruling was hailed by rights groups Amnesty International and Asylum Access Malaysia, which condemned the ruling by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government as a violation of the principle of international human rights.

“We believe the government owes the Malaysian people an explanation for why they chose to defy the court order, as well as the identity and status of the 1,200 people,” said Katrina Jorene Maliamauv, Director General of Amnesty International Malaysia.

“These dangerous evictions have not been properly controlled and put people at risk.”

Malaysia on Tuesday expelled 1,086 Myanmar nationals despite a court order temporarily suspending repatriation over fears the group would be in danger if returned to Myanmar under military control.

Kairul Dzaimee Daud, director general of Malaysia’s immigration department, said the group agreed to return “voluntarily” and were sent back to three ships belonging to the Burmese navy.

Daud said the returnees were all Myanmar nationals detained last year and did not include asylum seekers or refugees from the persecuted Rohingya minority. He did not explain why the 114 other Burmese migrants were left behind.

“ Putting the lives of migrants in danger ”

The move came just hours after the Kuala Lumpur High Court granted an interim stay barring the removal of 1,200 people until 10 a.m. (02:00 GMT) on Wednesday.

The order was issued in response to a judicial review request from Amnesty International and Asylum Access, who said their lives would be in danger and more than a dozen detainees were children of at least one parent in Malaysia.

Despite the court order, the evictions went according to plan, prompting the court to issue the second stay order on Wednesday.

Amnesty’s Maliamauv said the government’s decision may also be in violation of the country’s obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination in towards women.

“The authorities must stop them before they put more lives at risk. They must stop trying to tamper with these deportations without being accountable, ”said Maliamauv.

The Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) group also said the decision sets a “dangerous precedent” that endangers the lives of asylum seekers.

Military coup

Myanmar’s military seized power almost three weeks ago, claiming there had been voter fraud during the legislative elections last November.

He arrested the country’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, along with other politicians and activists, sparking protests across the country.

Rights groups have said the situation in Myanmar puts deported migrants at risk.

In a joint statement, four opposition lawmakers in Malaysia also condemned the “inhumane” eviction and suggested that government officials could be held in contempt for ignoring the court ruling.

“This act… clearly shows that the Malaysian government is not respecting the ongoing judicial process and has put Malaysia in a bad light on the human rights front,” he said.

Malaysia is home to millions of migrants from the region – with and without papers – who often work in the kinds of low-paying jobs Malaysians don’t want to do.

There are also nearly 180,000 refugees and asylum seekers, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

The vast majority are from Myanmar, including 102,250 Rohingya, along with tens of thousands of other ethnic minority groups who have fled conflict in their homeland.

They also risk being detained as “undocumented migrants” because Malaysia is not a signatory to the United Nations Refugee Convention. The UN refugee agency has not been able to visit migrant detention centers in the country since August 2019.

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