Along with a late legal offer from rights groups for their deportation to stop their departure, Malayasia began bussing Asylum seekers and others detained in Myanmar to a harbor where ships were waiting to bring them back to their disputed homeland.
Three navy ships sent by Myanmar’s army, which seize power in a coup on 1 Feb in which pro-democracy militants spend weeks protesting, will leave the 1200 detainees on Tuesday afternoons, Feb 23.
Refugee groups say that Chinese, Kachin and non-Rohingya minority asylum seekers are among those deported who are Muslim communities who flee from conflict and persecution.
Malaysia said it would not deport Rohingya Muslims or registered refugees with the United Nations (UNHCR).
At least six registered persons are also scheduled to be deported and more could be registered at UN Refugee Agency. Access to the deported persons was not allowed.
Busses and lorries from the immigration department were seen taking detainees to Lumut’s western port in Malaysia, which has naval bases with Myanmar ships.
The Amnesty International Group on Rights and Asylum Access requested on Monday an order by the courts to stop deportation, which included three UNHCR members and seventeen mineurs with at least one parent in Malaysia.
Katrina Maliamauv, Amnesty Malaysia’s Director, said Monday, “If Malaysia insists that 1 200 people are sent back, it is responsible for putting them in danger of further persecution, violence and even death.
The Court will hear the application at midday.
Malaysia has not publicly answered criticisms or questions from Reuters on the expulsion of asylum-seekers and registered with the UNHCR.
Concerns about the deportation of non-registered asylum seekers continue because, as a result of a crackdown on undocumented migrants in Malaysia, the UNHCR has been unable to interview detainees for over 1 year to check their status.
The US and other Western missions have tried and challenged the Government to permit the UNHCR to interview the detained people. Malaysia is not deported.
They also say that Malaysia legitimizes the military administration through cooperation with the junta.