1. August 2000

After fleeing systematic discrimination, forced labor, and other abuses in Burma, ethnic Rohingya in Malaysia face a whole new set of abuses in Malaysia. These include beatings, extortion, and arbitrary detention. The refugees are forced to live in poverty and constant fear of expulsion from the country. The 78-page report, "Living in Limbo: Burmese Rohingyas in Malaysia," details the treatment of Rohingya exiles in Malaysia. Denied legal recognition as refugees, Rohingya children are often not permitted to attend school, and many are denied health care. They are also at constant risk of arrest. Malaysian government officials detain and deport even those persons the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has recognized as refugees. In Malaysia's immigration detention camps, out of the eye of domestic and international monitors, detainees have been robbed and beaten. Former detainees interviewed by Human Rights Watch claimed that food and medical care is grossly inadequate in some detention centers, and that some detainees had died as a result. Children have been detained with unrelated adults, separated from their families, and deported alone to the Thai border. From the moment of their arrest to their expulsion, the Rohingya are vulnerable to demands for bribes by government officials.

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