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Action Puts Lives at Risk, Defies Court Order

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian government should urgently investigate the Immigration Department’s return of 1,086 Myanmar nationals to Myanmar in defiance of a court order, Human Rights Watch said today. On February 23, 2021, the Malaysian High Court…
Image taken from a video of an immigration truck with security guards and unidentified people on the road to Lumut Naval Base on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 in Lumut, Malaysia. 
News

Returned Nationals Would Face Oppressive Military Rule

(Kuala Lumpur) – The Malaysian government should halt plans to return 1,200 Myanmar nationals to Myanmar, Fortify Rights and Human Rights Watch said today. The government has agreed to hand over the nationals, all currently in Malaysian custody, to…
Undocumented migrants are detained during a crackdown by the Immigration Department in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, May 20, 2020.
News

Immunity, Police Powers for Military Raise Risk of Abuse

(Bangkok) – Malaysia’s recently announced Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance is overly broad and should urgently be revised to meet international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said today. The ordinance, announced on January 14,…
Perdana Menteri Malaysia Muhyiddin Yassin berbicara dalam sebuah konferensi pers setelah pertemuan kabinet pertama di kantor perdana menteri di Putrajaya, Malaysia, 11 Maret 2020.
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Release Children; Allow UN Refugee Agency Access to Detained Migrants

(Bangkok) – Malaysia should immediately release all children held in immigration detention facilities and allow the United Nations refugee agency regular access to those facilities, Human Rights Watch said today. Malaysia’s Home Ministry…
Police officers detain an immigrant from an apartment under enhanced lockdown in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 1, 2020. © 2020 REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng
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General Assembly Members Should Not Vote for China, Saudi Arabia

(New York) – United Nations member countries should not vote for China and Saudi Arabia, two of the world’s most abusive governments, for seats on the UN Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch said today. Russia’s numerous war crimes in Syria’s…
A view of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters, October 1, 2018.
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Jailing, Caning Refugees Violates International Law

(Bangkok) – Malaysian authorities should stop prosecuting Rohingya refugees for illegal entry and ensure that they are protected in accordance with international law, Human Rights Watch said today. At least 40 ethnic Rohingya who were picked up…
A boat carries Rohingya refugees off the coast of Langkawi, Malaysia, April 5, 2020.
News

Protect Asylum Seekers, Press Myanmar to End Persecution

(Bangkok) – Southeast Asian leaders should urgently adopt concrete plans for addressing the crisis facing ethnic Rohingya in Myanmar and abroad, Human Rights Watch said today. Leaders of the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (…
Local fishermen help Rohingya asylum seekers as they arrive in North Aceh, Indonesia, June 25, 2020.
News

End Pushbacks, Grant Access to Aid and Asylum

(Bangkok) – Malaysia and Thailand should urgently rescue Rohingya refugees stranded at sea and provide them with assistance and access to asylum, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 8, 2020, Malaysian authorities detained 269 Rohingya refugees who…
A boat carries Rohingya refugees off the coast of Langkawi, Malaysia, April 5, 2020.
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Re: Protecting Human Rights in Australia’s Foreign Policy

Dear Minister Payne, Congratulations on your reappointment as foreign minister. Human Rights Watch looks forward to working with you to make protection of human rights a strong pillar of Australia’s foreign policy. We attach a…
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Human Rights Council Seat Demands Greater Leadership

(Sydney) – The Australian government should make the protection of human rights a central focus of its foreign policy, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the recently reappointed Foreign Minister Marise Payne that was released today. …
201906asia_australia_marise_payne
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31st session of the Universal Periodic Review; 3rd cycle

While Malaysia has taken some positive steps since its last UPR review in 2013, the situation for freedom of speech and peaceful assembly has undergone a significant deterioration. Genuine efforts are needed not only to improve respect for these basic…
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Men Try to Avoid Rape Charges Through Forced Child Marriage

Survivors of rape often say they are left with devastating, sometimes lifelong, trauma. One woman who was sexually assaulted in Iraq described her feelings this way: “I have no past and no future at the moment. I am stuck in my anger and…
A woman walks past birdcages after she crossed the border from Malaysia into Thailand in Sungai Kolok in southern Narathiwat province March 8, 2013.
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This month, Malaysia’s lower house amended the country’s Child Act 2001 without banning all marriage by girls and boys under the age of 18, as called for by several members of parliament and rights groups. Absent from the debate was any…
Malaysia
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Denial of Rights in Burma, Bangladesh Lead to Trafficking and Dangerous Sea Voyages

(Bangkok) – Rohingya and other survivors of dangerous boat voyages from Burma and Bangladesh describe horrific treatment by unscrupulous smugglers and traffickers in Burma, and abuse and neglect aboard ships, Human Rights Watch said today. A regional…
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When Abid was five, immigration officials arrested him and his family, Pakistani refugees fleeing religious persecution. The officials took them to the squalid immigration detention centre in central Bangkok. There, they joined hundreds of other refugees…
Report
A Note on Gender Identity This report addresses human rights abuses faced by transgender people in Malaysia. “Transgender” is an inclusive term for anyone whose sex assigned to them at birth—i.e., the designation as “female” or…
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Eliminate Discriminatory Laws, Practices; End Violence

(Kuala Lumpur) – The Malaysian government should urgently seek the repeal of all laws and regulations that discriminate against transgender people, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Transgender people in Malaysia face criminal…
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Statement Delivered Under Item 6

The recommendations addressed to Malaysia reflect the broad concerns about its unwillingness to sign and ratify core UN human rights conventions and bring its domestic legislation into conformity with international law, in particular concerning the rights…
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A sense of urgency about the need to reverse Malaysia’s deteriorating human rights situation went missing from its second Universal Periodic Review – the United Nations Human Rights Council’s critique of member countries. Three years down the road since…