Attribution: Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Malaysia Researcher, Amnesty International

Responding to the news that the Bureau of Immigration is considering the deportation of Syrian asylum seeker Hassan al-Kontar, Rachel Chhoa-Howard said:

“Malaysian authorities must under no circumstances deport Hassan al-Kontar back to Syria. If deported, he would be in extreme danger and the Malaysian government would violate the international principle of non-refoulement.

“Malaysian authorities have a poor track record of deporting persons at risk. We call on the new government to reverse this trend and show that times have changed. There is still time to protect Mr. al-Kontar’s life and safety.”


Hassan al-Kontar is a 37-year-old Syrian national who was arrested and placed on remand by Malaysian police on 2 October 2018. With no option for onward travel, he has been in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) since March 2018. He does not wish to return to Syria, where he has refused to enlist in compulsory military service.

Amnesty International’s research in Syria has revealed widespread and systematic human rights violations and abuses constituting crimes against humanity including the use of torture, extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances of individuals perceived to oppose the Syrian government or other groups.

To arrange an interview, please contact: Rachel Chhoa Howard, [email protected].