Malaysia and refugees

The political responses to asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat is starting to focus more and more on other countries in our region.  Until recently this has mostly involved Indonesia, but Malaysia is now being mentioned more frequently.  I recently wrote a piece for Crikey and also had a letter published in The Australian detailing some of the serious human rights abuses inflicted on asylum seekers and refugees (and other migrants) in Malaysia.

The Crikey post mentions and links to some recent reports which reflect poorly on Malaysia’s treatment of asylum seekers.  The issue is likely to be an ongoing one, so I figured I would start keeping an ongoing record here of stories, reports and other information about Malaysia’s treatment of migrants.

Here’s a couple of recent ones I found:

> This one is a news item detailing the arrest of 42 asylum seekers by Malaysian authorities.  The asylum seekers will be charged with trying to leave the country illegally.  This is an example of the dangers of giving priority to stopping asylum seekers ahead of human rights.  Criminalising asylum seeking runs counter to the Refugee Convention and to general human rights principles.

> This one contains an interview with Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific region Director about widespread caning of migrants in Malaysia.

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