Authorities must protect all refugees, not just select few

In response to Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan bin Md Yusof, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for Special Functions’ Parliamentary reply stating that Uighur refugees will be not extradited from Malaysia, Katrina Maliamauv, Executive Director of Amnesty International Malaysia said:

“We’re glad that the authorities have stated on record that they will not violate the principle of non-refoulement in international law, prohibiting the return of refugees to their country of origin where they may face violence and persecution. The plight of Uighur refugees in China has gone on for far too long; and the government’s recognition of Uighurs’ refugee status is a positive step forward.

To uphold the principle of non-refoulement also means that refugees must be allowed to seek asylum. While the plight of Uighurs is indeed incredibly serious, we strongly urge the government to apply that to all persons seeking asylum, including also ending the pushback of boats carrying Rohingya refugees. It’s crucial also to stop the arrest and detention of refugees, and to work closely with UNHCR and civil society to ensure comprehensive protection of refugee rights in Malaysia. Human rights are for all, and cannot be selectively upheld.”