The Kuala Lumpur High Court today granted an interim stay against the Malaysian government to stop it from deporting 1,200 Myanmar nationals amid public outcry.
The court’s decision came after rights groups Amnesty International and Asylum Access urged the government to reconsider deporting the group to Myanmar, where protests against the military coup were met with harsh reactions from law enforcers.
“We urge the government to reconsider its plans to send this group of vulnerable people back to Myanmar, where human rights violations are currently dangerously high,” the joint statement said.
A judicial review over the deportation will be held tomorrow.
Seventeen of the deportees, including asylum seekers, were minors with at least one Malaysian parent. Three of them were also registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Immigration official Khairul Dzaimee Daud had said that Malaysia was deporting them as they did not have valid documents. All of them were currently being held at the Lumut naval base in Perak.
Widespread protests against the military coup were taking place in Myanmar after the country’s leaders Aung San Suu Kyi and Win Myint were detained on Feb. 1 over unsubstantiated allegations they committed election fraud.
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This article, High Court stops Malaysia from deporting 1,200 Myanmar nationals, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.