Malaysia High Court Allows Myanmar Deportations to be Challenged by Rights Groups

A Malaysian court has allowed rights groups Amnesty International and Asylum Access Malaysia to challenge the deportation of over 1,000 Myanmar nationals last month and to extend the stay of 114 others who are still in Malaysia.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled for the case to continue and an extended stay for the 114 Myanmar nationals pending the outcome of the judicial review.

Katrina Jorene Maliamauv, executive director of Amnesty International Malaysia said, “We welcome the decision to stay the deportation of the 114 Myanmar nationals, who are no longer at risk of deportation until the judicial review is completed.”

“Today’s judgment also affirms the role of NGOs and civil society organisations in challenging government decisions in court on matters of public interest,” Maliamauv added.

In February, the Malaysian Immigration Department sent back 1,086 Burmese on Myanmar navy ships defying a court order, amidst civil unrest in the country.

“The government violated not only the universally-accepted international prohibition on non-refoulement, or forcible return of a person to a place where their safety is in jeopardy, but also potentially the Child Act and Malaysia’s obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women(CEDAW),” said Tham Hui Ying, executive director of Asylum Access Malaysia.

The ruling however, is not expected to bring back the Myanmar deportees already sent back.

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