Controversial forced returns from Malaysia

Malaysian authorities have returned two UNHCR card holding refugees and one asylum seeker, whose claim for refugee status was pending before UNHCR, back to Sri Lanka.

The three individuals were arrested and detained for 10 days and were then returned on the basis of alleged terrorism activities, though no evidence has been provided to substantiate such claims.

The three individuals were not given access to due process or a fair or public trial, and their return took place without prior notification to family members, lawyers and UNHCR.

IDC members APRRN and Human Rights Watch have issued strong statements condemning the Malaysian government’s actions and expressing concerns over the safety of the three individuals.

Both advocate that the principle of non-refoulement has been breached, that is the refugees are being returned to places where their lives or freedom are at threat.