Malaysia deports Myanmar refugees

Human rights organisations urge the Malaysian Government to investigate the deportation of 1,086 Myanmarese sent back to Myanmar.

Immigration Department disobeyed a court order not to evict them. The group includes people from ethnic minorities who have been persecuted in Myanmar. The expulsion to Myanmar, where the army seized power on February 1, could put them in great danger.

Refugee status

Some of the deferred Myanmarese would have UN refugee status. However, as since August last year, the UN has not had access to the detention centres in the country. Malaysia says, however, that it is about people who have violated immigration rules and not asylum seekers.

The Indonesian Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi, has removed her plans to visit Myanmar. Instead, she met her military-appointed counterpart, Wunna Maung Lwin, yesterday in Thailand. In front of the press, she said she had very strenuous talks with various parties, including the army and the CRPH, referring to the Committee representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw formed by deposed parliamentarians.

Rohingya

The UN refugee organisation UNHCR has raised the alarm about Rohingya refugees who have been floating around on a boat in the Andaman Sea for 14 days, without food or water for a long time. According to Chris Lewa of The Arakan Project, a human rights organization focused on Rohingya, eight people died on the boat.

The boat has 90 people on board. Many are sick and suffer from extreme dehydration. The boat departed from Bangladesh on 11 February, where more than a million Rohingya live in refugee camps, and had problems with the engine. Many Rohingya have been driven out of neighbouring Myanmar by a brutal campaign of violence. India has a duty under international law to save and provide security, says Lewa. The Indian Coast Guard brought them food and water this week. But for the time being, they are still floating around the sea.