CHRO

 

 

 

14 November 2007

 

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: As another child goes missing in Malaysia, CHRO renews its calls for the Malaysian government to protect all refugee and undocumented children. Biak Cin Thang, a 15-year old Chin boy, is the second Chin child to go missing since 20 March when Dally Sui disappeared and was later found dead in some undergrowth near her family’s home in Cheras. The Chin community in Kuala Lumpur continues to search and pray for Biak Cin Thang, hoping that he will be found unharmed.

 

On 7 November, 15-year old Biak Cin Thang went missing and remains unaccounted for. Biak Cin Thang was last seen leaving his family’s flat on Jalan Water Grenier off Jalan Imbi on Wednesday, 7 November around 4:00 pm. He never returned. His family filed a missing persons report with the district police that evening when he did not come home. They also contacted all their friends and relatives living in Malaysia. However, no one has any information as to Biak Cin Thang’s whereabouts.

 

The Chin Refugee Center (CRC), an organization working for the Chin community in Malaysia, is doing all it can to find any information that may lead to the safe return of Biak Cin Thang to his family. CRC has asked that anyone with any information as to the whereabouts of Biak Cin Thang to please contact their office immediately. CRC can be reached at +60.32.144.7271.

 

Biak Cin Thang came to Malaysia along with his younger brother under the care of his aunt, Nu Nu Sung. All three have been granted UNHCR refugee status and are awaiting resettlement to a third country. Nu Nu Sung brought the two young boys to Malaysia after their father was killed on the Indo-Burma border while serving in the Chin National Front (CNF). When Biak Cin Thang was very young, he came down with a serious case of malaria, which affected his cognitive abilities. According to those who know him, Biak Cin Thang rarely talks and tends to avoid strangers, making his disappearance even more disconcerting.

 

Biak Cin Thang’s disappearance is a sad reminder for the Chin community of the loss of Dally Sui who disappeared under similar conditions about 8 months ago. In the case of Dally Sui, she went missing around 7:00 pm from her family’s flat in the Cheras neighborhood of Kuala Lumpur. Like Biak Cin Thang, Dally’s family was living in Malaysia as UNHCR recognized refugees. She went missing the day before she and her family were scheduled to leave Malaysia to be resettled to the United States. Her body was found one week after her disappearance with her hands severed at the wrist, evidence of a brutal end to a young life. Her killer was never found.

 

UNDOCUMENTED AND REFUGEE CHILDREN REMAIN VULNERABLE IN MALAYSIA

 

After the disappearance and tragic death of Dally Sui, CHRO issued a call to action demanding that the Malaysia government protect all children living within its borders. Now, with the recent disappearance of Biak Cin Thang, CHRO renews this call.

 

As a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Malaysia has a responsibility to uphold and ensure the rights of all children, including refugee and undocumented children, are protected. The case of Dally Sui and Biak Cin Thang reflects the lack of adequate protection for the most vulnerable members of the community.

 

Currently there are over 500 Chin children living in Malaysia. For many refugee children living in Malaysia, most of their days are spent indoors, afraid or prohibited by their parents from leaving their family’s homes. Not only are refugee children vulnerable to abduction and general societal crimes, but they are also at risk of arrest, detention, and deportation by the Malaysian authorities. Despite their obligations to refrain from arbitrarily depriving a child of his or her liberty under Article 37(b) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Malaysian authorities are constantly responsible for the unwarranted arrest and detention of children. Refugees and undocumented children are also not allowed to attend school in Malaysia. The Malaysia government must do more to protect and promote the rights of children.

 

CALL TO ACTION

 

It is time for the Malaysian government to live up to its commitments under international law and provide adequate protection to all the children living within its borders. CHRO calls on the Malaysian government to:

 

· Conduct a proper investigation into the disappearance of Biak Cin Thang and to ensure such acts of violence are not committed with impunity.

 

· Respect and uphold its international legal obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

 

· Stop the arrest and detention of refugee children and their mothers.

 

· Immediately and unconditionally release refugee children and their parents in government custody.

 

To join CHRO in their call for the protection of refugee and undocumented children in Malaysia, please write or contact the Malaysian Home Affairs Ministry at:

Ministry of Home Affairs

Royal Malaysian Police

Cawangan Perhubungan Awam

Polis Diraja Malaysia

Ibu Pejabat Polis Bukit Aman

50560 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tel: (60) 3-2262 6310; Fax: (60) 3-2272-2710;

 

Website: http://www.rmp.gov.my

Email: [email protected] e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

 

 

5 December 2007

 

Kelantan State, Malaysia: CHRO is deeply concerned for the well-being of one Chin woman and her four young children, who remain detained in Tanah Merah Immigration Detention Camp in Malaysia’s Kelantan State. Tin Thluai and her children, Zung Thluai Men, age 1, Sonia Run Chin Par, age 3, Sui Dawt Par, age 9, and Lal Rin Mawi, age 13, were arrested and taken into immigration custody on 29 October 2007 shortly after being involved in a serious traffic accident that left two of the children with broken legs and the mother with severe head wounds.

 

The Immigration Department in Kelantan State has refused to release the family, denied UNHCR access into the detention facility, and prohibited visitation rights to the husband and father of the family. CHRO condemns these appallingly inhumane actions of the Kelantan Immigration Department and calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the family.

 

Tin Thluai

 

Lal Peng, the husband and father of the family, is distraught over the continued detention of his wife and children. “I just want my family to be safe and together again. I was allowed to see my wife and two daughters when they were still in the hospital. My little girl was crying so much she couldn’t stop. Then I was told I had to leave and couldn’t come back or they would arrest me too.”

 

Lal Peng is a UNHCR-recognized refugee awaiting resettlement to the U.S. Despite his UNHCR status, the UNHCR has been unable to intervene in his family’s case. Lal Peng, himself, was only able to visit his family in the detention camp once before being barred from further visits. During that visit, his wife described the difficulty of conditions in the camp, “She told me that they are not given enough food. My wife is still breast-feeding our youngest child. But the others are going hungry. I tried to give them money for food but the guards would not allow it.”

 

Lal Rin Mawi, age 13

 

CHRO first reported this incident on 9 November 2007 when Lal Peng’s family along with 16 other women and children were first arrested and detained in Kelantan State. Sadly, the other 16 women and children were deported earlier this month to the Thailand border. Lal Peng’s family were spared deportation only because the severity of their injuries. Thirteen-year old Lal Rin Mawi has a broken leg and nine-year old Sui Dawt Par is in a partial body cast suffering from an upper leg injury and still cannot stand on her own. Lal Peng’s wife, Tin Thluai, has two sets of stitches in her head and deep cuts on her hand.

 

 

CALL TO ACTION

 

Sui Dawt Par, age 9

 

The callous actions of the Kelantan Immigration Department are not only disconcerting but also in violation of basic human rights, including specific protections for women and children contained in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Please join CHRO in their demands to the Malaysian government to:

 

· Immediately release Tin Thluai and her children, Zung Thluai Men, age 1, Sonia Run Chin Par, age 3, Sui Dawt Par, age 9, and Lal Rin Mawi, age 13;

 

· Stop further arrests and detention of women and children in Malaysia;

 

· Allow UNHCR access to all potential refugees, particularly vulnerable women and children, under their custody;

 

· Ensure visitation rights for family members of immigration detainees are protected.

 

Your letters can make a difference. Please show your opposition to the abusive actions of the Malaysian Immigration Department. Be a voice for all refugees living in Malaysia. Direct your communications and concerns to:

 

Datuk Radzi Sheikh Ahmad

Minister of Home Affairs

Level 12, Block D1, Parcel D,

Federal Government Administrative Centre,

62546 Putrajaya

Tel: +60.38.886.8000

Fax: +60.38.889.1613

 

Tuan HJ. Wahid Bin MD Don, Director-General of Immigration Department

Director General Office

Immigration Department of Malaysia ,

Level 1-7 (Podium) Block 2G-4, Precint 2,

Federal Government Administration Centre,

62550 Putrajaya,

Tel: +60 3 8880 1000

Fax: +60 3 8880 1200′

 

Encik Che Baharom Bin Hamzah

 

Director of State Immigration

 

Kelantan State

 

Malaysia

 

Tel: +60.9.744.1644

 

Fax: +60.9.744.0200

 

 

 

Datuk Ishak Bin Haji Mohamed

 

Immigration Enforcement Director

 

Immigration Department of Malaysia

 

Tingkat 4, Blok 2G4, Precinct 2

 

Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan

 

62550 Putra Jaya

 

Malaysia

 

Tel: +603.8880.1297

 

Fax: +603.8880.1310

 

E-mail: [email protected]

 

 

 

Chin Human Rights Organization

2930 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 200-36, Berkeley, California, US 94705

Tel: +1.510.332.0983

www.chro.org

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Amy Alexander

Regional Advocacy and Campaigns Officer

[email protected] e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Tel: +66.85.23.02.609

 

RELA BURNS DOWN REFUGEE SHELTERS IN MALAYSIA

 

25 January 2008

 

Putra Jaya, Malaysia: At least 75 Zomi refugees and asylum seekers originally from Chin State, Burma are now homeless and distraught after government-authorized forces in Malaysia burned down their jungle shelters earlier this week in Putra Jaya. This is the latest of many well-documented acts of abuse committed by the authorities against the refugee community in Malaysia.

 

The raid began around 7 am on 20 January when more than 30 RELA members violently stormed the make-shift campsite and burned it to the ground. The material possessions of the camp residents- plastic sheeting for shelter, pots and pans for cooking, donated articles of clothing and food rations, and Christian Bibles- were reduced to ashes. For a community already living on the margins of survival, the consequences are devastating.

 

“Nothing is left for any of them. Nobody knows what they should do, where they should go for shelter, how they can overcome this…They are left with nothing,” reported one Zomi Chin leader who recently visited the residents and their burned out campsite.

 

For years, the refugees and asylum seekers from Burma have taken shelter in the jungles surrounding Kuala Lumpur to escape the harassment and abuse by RELA security forces. Night-time neighborhood raids occur regularly in Kuala Lumpur’s urban areas. Although in hiding, the communities living in the jungle are not immune to such abuses. Over the course of four years, the camp in Putra Jaya had been raided three times by RELA.

 

According to the camp leader, “None of the raids in the past compare to this. We are empty-handed now. We lost everything- no cooking pots, no food, no clothes, no hope.”

 

The raid was conducted by Malaysia’s controversial RELA or the People’s Volunteer Corps, an untrained, volunteer civilian unit with security enforcement powers. RELA has come under increasing criticism by members of the international community and human rights organizations for reckless conduct and abusive actions during raids. Despite such criticism, RELA is slated to take over all of Malaysia’s immigration facilities during this next year. The transition of authority has already started in some facilities, raising concerns among the refugee community who fear the takeover will lead to increased abuses with greater impunity.

 

BACKGROUND

 

Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes in Chin State, Burma to escape severe ethnic and religious persecution committed by the military regime of Burma. They arrive in Malaysia in search of some sense of security. Currently, there are over 23,000 asylum seekers and refugees from Burma’s Chin State living in Malaysia. Instead of finding safety, they are the constant target of harassment, arrest, detention, and deportation by the Malaysian authorities. In addition, they are unable to work, receive an education, access healthcare services, or find acceptable living accommodations. With the UNHCR general registration process closed since July 2005, obtaining refugee status or any protective documents from the UNHCR is difficult. As a result, life for the refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia is full of abuses and uncertainties.

 

For more information, please visit Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) on the web at www.chro.org or contact Amy Alexander at [email protected] e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or +66.85.230.2609.

 

For Immediate Release

 

6 March 2008

New Delhi

 

Asylum Seeking Mother and Children at Risk

 

Starting from 26 January 2008 , a Burmese Chin women asylum seeker and her three minor children have been staging a sit-in demonstration in front the UNHCR office in New Delhi , after they were made homeless following eviction by their landlord.

 

Far Hniang (30), a single mother of three children, Jaremiah (12), Dawt Tha (8) and Ca Dawt Iang (3 months) have been camping out in front of UNHCR office for six weeks now without proper food and shelter. Abandoned by her husband, Far Hniang’s application for refugee status remains unprocessed for over a year.

 

“We come to seek the attention and sympathy for our plight as we have no other place to live and no food to eat. We are destitute without the help of UNHCR. We have no choice but to remain here until we die,” pleaded Far Hniang.

 

Chin Human Rights Organization is highly concerned for the safety and well-being of the family especially in light of the fact that Far Hniang is still a nursing mother and one of her children is barely three months old. CHRO calls on the office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to urgently respond to their needs. Any further delay could put them into serious jeopardy.

 

Having gone without proper food for over six weeks, on 5 March, Far Hniang was rushed to a nearby local hospital after collapsing from physical weakness. UNHCR office has not intervened as of today.

 

Ms. Far Hniang’s family fled to New Delhi in November 2006 from Zephai village of Than Tlang Township , Chin state of Burma , in search of safety. Their application for refugee status with UN refugee agency remains pending to this date.

 

Similarly, due to lengthy delay in registration and processing by UNHCR many Chin asylum seekers are facing a host of problems including lack of food and shelter, healthcare and education for their children.

 

For more information please contact:

 

Plato Van Rung Mang, CHRO Delhi Office assistant in-charge at + 91-11-25617368

Or visit www.chro.org for background information on Chin refugees in India

 

To protect and promote human rights and democratic principles