Amnesty International Malaysia & Asylum Access Malaysia
Joint Media Quote
13 December 2022
Responding to the decision by the Kuala Lumpur High Court to lift the stay of deportation of 114 people from Myanmar, Katrina Jorene Maliamauv, Executive Director of Amnesty International Malaysia & Tham Hui Ying, Executive Director of Asylum Access Malaysia said:
“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 safeguards the rights and security of people from Myanmar and respects the Malaysian government’s human rights obligations.
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 and halt any decision to send people back to a violent and dangerous situation. Violating this most fundamental principle of non-refoulement would reflect poorly on the new government’s respect for human rights.
People from Myanmar should be allowed to remain safely (not detained) in Malaysia while their status is regularised, and not be forcibly returned to the country in any way while Myanmar remains in a state of unrest. With a new Cabinet in place, the new government should end its dishonest approach of criticizing the Myanmar military authorities while continuing to quietly subject people to refoulement.”
In February 2021, Amnesty Malaysia and Asylum Access Malaysia filed a judicial review to challenge the deportation of 1,200 people from Myanmar back to the country. 1086 people were still deported to Myanmar despite a court order and a stay on the deportation; at least 114 remaining were not deported because they tested positive for COVID-19.
The KL High Court granted a stay of deportation on the remaining 114 individuals, pending disposal of the judicial review. In May this year, the government filed an application to lift the stay.
Despite efforts to ensure that the 114 had safe and legal routes to remain in Malaysia and not be forcibly deported, the KL High Court on 13 December 2022 granted the government’s application to lift the stay.
In October 2022, there was a wave of international outcry against the continued deportation of people from Myanmar, including from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) who issued multiple statements condemning the practice. Amnesty International released a public statement echoing the calls for the halt to all deportations of Myanmar people during the crisis in Myanmar.
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