Monday 22 May 2017
Wednesday 17 May 2017
Police fire warning shots as extremists speed up their anti-Muslim operations in capital city
Dozens of Rohingya refugees in Malaysian jails have died over the last two years, the Guardian reportedTuesday. Refugees, most of whom were from Myanmar, claim to have been imprisoned in horrific conditions in fetid cells.
The newspaper reported that inmates were deprived of water to the extent that those imprisoned had to drink toilet-water and it was like "torture."
A dozen refugees were recently released, and they were interviewed by the Guardian, some anonymously.
"They gave us only one small cup of water with our meals, otherwise we had to drink toilet water. Only when someone was about to die would the guards come. Otherwise, if we complained, or if we asked to go to the hospital, they beat us," claimed Mouyura Begum, 18, who had been detained at a camp called Belantik for more than one year.
The report said that out of the 24 refugees who had died in captivity in Malaysia, all except two were from Myanmar. Some 90 percent of refugees in Malaysia are from Myanmar, and most died from preventable diseases, like leptospirosis, caused by the contamination of rat poison.
A spokesperson for UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, told Newsweek: " UNHCR's global position is that asylum seekers and refugees should not be subject to immigration detention, and if they are, this should be subject to periodic review and conditions should be in compliance with international standards."
"UNHCR encourages states to explore alternatives to detention for persons who have been determined to be in need of international protection."
Malaysia has offered assistance to the Rohingya before, and has criticized other Southeast Asian nations for not doing enough to help the displaced people. In February 2016, Malaysia sent an aid ship to Bangladesh, where 75,000 Rohingya refugees were living in Cox's Bazaar, but it met with resistance from Myanmar officials.
On March 1, Kuala Lumpur started a pilot scheme that would allow the Rohingya to work legally in Malaysia. Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said in February that the offer was open only to Rohingyas who are UNHCR cardholders and have had health checks.
The Rohingya would be given jobs in the plantation and manufacturing industries.
Successful applicants would be placed with selected companies in the plantation and manufacturing industries. "They will be able to gain skills and income to make a living before being relocated to a third country," said Zahid Hamidi.
He added that by issuing work permits, it would "prevent exploitation of Rohingya as forced labour and illegal workers in the country."
While 24 dead is the official number, there may be reports of further deaths. Malaysian law allows foreigners suspected of entering the country illegally to be detained for "such period as may be necessary," the Guardian reported.
The Rohingya, a Muslim minority in Myanmar, are described as "the world's most persecuted people."
Wednesday 3 May 2017
Monday 1 May 2017
15-day-old baby and four-month-old child among the 30 Rohingya refugees rescued from Indian boat by Sri Lanka
- The Rohingya people are a Muslim Indo-Aryan community from the Rakhine State of Myanmar (Burma)
- The Rohingya are often described as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world
- Hundreds died in communal violence between Buddhists and Rohingya in 2012, further worsening their plight
- READ: Rohingya community crackdown begins in India
- Indian security agencies believe these youths may be more prone to radicalisation than Indian Muslims
- See more news from India at www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome
Sri Lanka's coastguard have detained an Indian boat which illegally entered the island's territorial waters and rescued 30 Rohingya refugees including 16 children who were on board, an official said.
The dhow operated by two Indians had entered Sri Lanka's northern waters after crossing the sea border, said navy spokesman Chaminda Walakuluge.
'The coastguard noticed that there were very small children on board and escorted the boat to a port and provided them with emergency assistance,' Walakuluge told AFP.
He said seven men, seven women and 16 children were on board, in addition to the two-man Indian crew who had been detained pending investigations.
'There was a 15-day-old baby and a four-month-old child on board,' Walakuluge said. 'We have taken them to port and provided food and medical attention.'
He said it appeared that the passengers had left India, where they had lived for about four years as refugees. They were handed over to local authorities to decide further action.
Investigators suspect that the crew were trying to bring the Rohingya to Sri Lanka.
The Muslim Rohingya in Myanmar's western state of Rakhine are denied citizenship and face brutal discrimination in the Buddhist-majority country.
Thousands have sought refuge in other countries in the region.
Four years ago Sri Lanka's navy rescued 138 refugees from Bangladesh and Myanmar whose boat had been drifting off Sri Lanka for over 10 days.
Myanmar's stateless Rohingya
The United Nations Human Rights Council last month agreed to send a fact-finding mission to Myanmar to investigate claims that police and soldiers carried out a bloody crackdown on the Rohingya in Rakhine.
More than 120,000 Rohingya have languished in grim displacement camps ever since bouts of religious violence between Muslims and Buddhists ripped through the state in 2012.
Most are not allowed to leave the squalid encampments, where they live in dilapidated shelters with little access to food, education and health care.