FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
4 February 2010
Contacts: Victor Biak Lian
Tel: +60-102168001 or + 66-8153-00702
E-mail: [email protected]
Salai Za Uk Ling
Email: [email protected]
CHRO Lauds Malaysia for Plans to Issue IDs to Refugees, Urges to Implement Further Protection Measures
The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) welcomes the recent statement by the Malaysian Home Ministry secretary-general Mahmood Adam regarding plans to issue identification cards to UN-recognized refugees. This initial measure, if followed through, will provide greater protection to refugees and ensure their security well-being in Malaysia.
For years, refugees fleeing from oppressive governments in the region, the vast majority of who are from Burma, have suffered gross human rights violations in Malaysia. The harsh immigration policy has increased their vulnerability, resulting in the indiscriminate arrest, prolonged detention, abuse and deportation of refugees and asylum seekers.
Salai Bawi Lian Mang, CHRO Executive Director said, “While this new policy initiative is laudable, concrete measures should be taken by the Malaysian government to ensure that the rights of refugees and asylum seekers are well protected. The new policy should also provide latitude for asylum seekers who are not yet documented so that they can enjoy protection while in the process of getting recognized.”
We would like to encourage the Malaysian government to continue holding discussion and consultation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other relevant parties so that an appropriate solution can be found to better protect the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia.
To show its new commitment, it is important that the Malaysian authorities refrain from further actions to round up and indiscriminately arrest refugees and asylum seekers while the new policy is being formulated.
The CHRO hopes that this new policy will lead to greater recognition, as well as, respect for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers within Malaysia.