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Surge in Police Harassment of Journalists, Activists, Protesters

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian authorities are increasingly using criminal investigations to harass journalists, protest leaders, and various other critics of the government, Human Rights Watch said today. Many are facing potential prosecution and have…
News
With GE15 on the horizon, there is a grave risk that arrests will continue to rise. Respect for freedom of speech in Malaysia is in free fall - a decline illustrated by two recent arrests. On the evening of Friday, April 23, seven police…
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin attending parliament session at parliament lower house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, July 13, 2020.
News

New Law Criminalizes Expression, Violates Privacy Rights

(Bangkok) – Malaysian authorities should revoke a new “fake news” ordinance that poses a serious threat to freedom of expression and privacy and the right to a fair trial, Human Rights Watch said today. The Emergency (Essential Powers) (No. 2)…
A television shows a live broadcast of Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin at a shopping outlet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. 
News

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

Decision Holding Portals Liable Poses Serious Risk to Freedom of Speech

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian Federal Court decision holding an online news site responsible for reader comments contravenes international human rights standards and will chill free speech in Malaysia, Human Rights Watch said today. The court on…
Malaysiakini's editor-in-chief Steven Gan speaks to the media at the Federal Court in in Putrajaya, Malaysia on February 19, 2021. 
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.
News

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
News
When Pricila, a 32-year-old trans woman, fled El Salvador in February 2019, she had good reason to fear for her life. Police had beaten and sexually assaulted her, telling her they would make her a man. Gang members attempted to forcibly recruit her.…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
News

US Barriers to Asylum Block Path to Safety

(Washington, DC) – The governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have failed to effectively address violence and entrenched discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, leading many to seek asylum in the…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
News

Arrest of Bangladeshi in Documentary Violates Free Speech Rights

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian authorities’ arrest of a Bangladeshi migrant worker who was featured in an Al Jazeera documentary is clear retaliation for his criticism of government policies towards migrants, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities…
News

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
The Trump administration has proposed a new federal regulation that would create insurmountable barriers to the vast majority of asylum claims, including by gutting the definition of refugee to the point where lesbian, gay, bisexual and…
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News

Abusive Investigations for Critical Speech on the Rise

(Bangkok) – Malaysian authorities are increasingly responding to criticism of the government by initiating criminal investigations, Human Rights Watch said today. Journalists, civil society activists, and ordinary people have all recently faced…
Perdana Menteri Malaysia Muhyiddin Yassin berbicara dalam sebuah konferensi pers setelah pertemuan kabinet pertama di kantor perdana menteri di Putrajaya, Malaysia, 11 Maret 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.
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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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Opportunity to Change Course on Rights

(Beirut) – Mauritania’s first presidential transition in a decade has raised hope that the new head of state, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, will ensure human rights protections for all Mauritanians, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020…
Students protesting against a discriminatory government decision limiting enrollment in public university to 24 years, hold up signs that say “education is a right for all.”
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Backtracking on Free Expression, Accountability, LGBT Rights

(Bangkok) – Malaysia’s promised human rights reforms stalled in 2019 as the government either backed away from or delayed action on its campaign commitments, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020. “Malaysia’s reform…
Protesters hold placards reading " Save Malaysia, Arrest the Thief " during a protest in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, April 14, 2018.
News

Proposed Secure and Protect Act Attempts to Block Asylum Claims

If you follow the twisted logic of Senator Lindsey Graham’s Secure and Protect Act to its ultimate conclusion, the US would all but shut its doors to Central American refugees – full stop. A vote on the bill in the US Senate Committee…
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