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Malaysia to deport new Rohingya refugees

/ 11:11 AM June 10, 2020

PETALING JAYA — Rohingya refugees entering Malaysia will be deported back to Bangladesh, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

“Rohingya refugees should not assume they will be accepted here if they run here,” he said during a press conference in Putrajaya Tuesday.

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The Senior Minister said the government had decided that the Rohingya refugees, who were detained off Langkawi on Monday, would not be allowed to remain in the country.

“Wisma Putra will be holding talks with their Bangladeshi counterparts for the refugees to be sent back to Cox’s Bazar or to the island of Bhasan Char in Bangladesh,” he said.

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Ismail Sabri said Wisma Putra would also hold talks with UNHCR to explore the possibility of the refugees being sent to a third country.

“Some of these countries questioned how we managed the matter, including saying that we are not being humane.

“These countries are signatories to the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and we ask them to take these refugees into their countries,” he said when asked to comment on the fate of the 269 Rohingya found on the ship on Monday.

“They drilled holes into the vessel and damaged the engine before entering our waters. After that, 57 of the refugees jumped into the water.

“We had to save them as we could not just leave them to drown in front of our eyes,” said Ismail Sabri.Local maritime enforcement patrol boats had earlier attempted to push the vessel back, but were forced to rescue the refugees.

On the Malaysian Armed Forces Field Hospital in Cox’s Bazar, Ismail Sabri said all 56 army personnel and doctors had since returned home, with the hospital closed following the Covid-19 outbreak.

The UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees is also known as the 1951 Refugee Convention, of which Malaysia is not a signatory.

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TAGS: Asia, Bangladesh, Cox’z Bazar, Malaysia, Refugees, Rohingya crisis
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