Hari Pelarian Sedunia: “Pertukaran Suaka” hadiah terburuk untuk pelarian

SUARA RAKYAT MALAYSIA

Address: 433A, Jalan 5/46, Gasing Indah,
46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Telephone: +6 03 7784 3525
Fax: +6 03 7784 3526
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.suaram.net

KENYATAAN AKHBAR 20 JUN 2011

Hari Pelarian Sedunia: “Pertukaran Suaka” hadiah terburuk untuk pelarian

SUARAM menyifatkan inisiatif “pertukaran suaka” yang dicadangkan oleh kedua-dua kerajaan Australia dan Malaysia merupakan hadiah terburuk bakal diberikan kepada pelarian dan pemohon suaka di Malaysia sempena Hari Pelarian Sedunia yang disambut hari ini (20 Jun 2011).

Hari ini adalah hari pelarian sedunia dan kedua-dua kerajaan masih lagi mahu meneruskan inisiatif “pertukaran suaka” tersebut walaupun telah mendapat kritikan dari pelbagai pihak termasuk organisasi hak asasi manusia di Malaysia dan Australia dan Pesuruhjaya Tinggi bagi Orang Pelarian, Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (UNHCR).

Hari Pelarian Sedunia merupakan hari dimana masyarakat dunia umumnya dan rakyat Malaysia khasnya memberikan perhatian tentang pengalaman dan keperitan yang dilalui oleh pelarian dan memupuk semangat solidariti dan perkongsian beban di antara manusia.

Namun, Hari Pelarian Sedunia yang disambut di Malaysia pada tahun ini merupakan satu “mimpi ngeri” dan merupakan “hadiah terburuk” yang bakal diberikan kepada pelarian dan pemohon suaka di Malaysia. Inisiatif “pertukaran suaka” merupakan satu inisiatif yang melanggari undang-undang berkaitan pelarian seperti yang diumumkan oleh Pesuruhjaya Tinggi bagi Pertubuhan Bangsa-bangsa Bersatu berkaitan Hak Asasi Manusia (OHCHR), Navi Pillay. Ia juga merupakan satu penafian hak bagi individu (pemohon suaka) untuk mendapatkan perlindungan di Australia.

Sebagai sebuah badan hak asasi manusia, kami mempersoalkan di manakah semangat “perkongsian beban” dan tanggungjawab melindungi “hak asasi manusia” yang sering kali dicanangkan oleh kerajaan Malaysia dalam isu Palestine dan Gaza? Adakah usaha membanteras jenayah transnasional ini perlu meminggirkan hak asasi dan keselamatan manusia yang tidak bersalah? Membanteras dan usaha melindungi persempadanan negara ini adalah tanggungjawab kerajaan Malaysia namun itu tidak bukan alasan untuk terus menafikan hak asasi dan tanggungjawab Malaysia untuk melindungi pelarian.

Lebih kurang 93,000 pelarian berdaftar dan ribuan pemohon suaka kini tinggal di Malaysia tanpa perlindungan sewajarnya dan kini bakal diberikan satu lagi “hadiah terburuk” sempena hari bersejarah ini. Pelarian dan pemohon suaka diklasifikasikan sebagai pendatang asing menurut Akta Imigrasi 1959/63 dan boleh ditangkap, ditahan dan dikenakan hukuman termasuk hukuman sebat. Pelarian juga tidak dibenarkan bekerja, akses kepada pendidikan formal dan tinggal dalam keadaan daif.

Sempena hari pelarian sedunia yang disambut hari ini, SUARAM menggesa kerajaan membatalkan inisiatif “pertukaran suaka” bagi menghormati hak pelarian untuk mencari perlindungan suaka di Australia dan tidak menghantar mereka semula ke negara (Malaysia) di mana mereka akan berhadapan layanan buruk. Ia juga bagi menghormati hari pelarian sedunia yang disambut di seluruh pelusok dunia. Kita menggesa kerajaan supaya berhenti memberikan imej buruk kepada negara.

SUARAM juga menggesa kerajaan untuk meratifikasi Konvensyen 1951 berkaitan Status Pelarian dan Protokolnya 1967 bagi member perlindungan formal kepada pelarian dan pemohon suaka di negara ini.

Dikeluarkan oleh,

Andika Wahab
Penyelaras Pelarian
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
0163723699
[email protected]

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PRESS STATEMENT 20 JUNE 2011

World Refugee Day: ‘Asylum Swap’ Horrifying gift for refugees

The proposed asylum swap initiated by the Australian and Malaysian governments is the horrifying gift to be given to refugees and asylum-seekers in Malaysia in conjunction with World Refugee Day which is celebrated across the world today (20 June 2011).

Today is a historic and important day for refugees and SUARAM is appalled that both governments insist on continuing the asylum swap initiative, despite criticism from various quarters including human rights organizations in Malaysia and Australia as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

World Refugee Day is a day to raise awareness of the situation of refugees and to draw the public’s attention to the millions of refugees worldwide, of which almost 100,000 are registered refugees in Malaysia, in addition to thousands of asylum-seekers. This is the day we should commemorate them (refugees) and to make public aware about their hardships and misery. It is also to foster the spirit of solidarity and burden-sharing among human beings and not to horrify them.

Instead, the World Refugee Day celebration in Malaysia this year is a ‘nightmare’ and horrifying gift to be given to refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia. The proposed initiative, which is yet to be finalized would violate refugee laws according to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Navi Pillay. It would also violate the international customary law of non-refoulement, which prohibits the return of people to places where they may face persecution or threats to their life or freedoms, as Malaysia has an appalling record when it comes to the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.

The Malaysian government is quick enough when it comes to the aid and support of Palestinians and Gaza, but is dismissive when refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia are concerned. The government should not sideline the principles of human rights when combating transnational crimes. Establishing national border protection is the responsibility of the individual state but it does not mean that the Malaysian government should constantly deny the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia.

There are more than 93, 000 registered refugees and thousands of asylum seekers now living in Malaysia without proper protection. The refugee swap initiative would cast a shadow on the lives of these already vulnerable people.

Refugees and asylum seekers are classified as illegal immigrants by the Immigration Act 1959/63 and can be arrested, detained and sentenced, which usually involves judicial caning by the authorities. Refugees are not allowed to work legally, have no access to formal education and have poor living conditions.

In conjunction with the World Refugee Day, SUARAM strongly urges both the governments of Malaysia and Australia to withdraw the proposed asylum swap and to respect the rights of asylum seekers to seek asylum and protection. It is also to respect the global refugee day, which is celebrated around the world.

SUARAM also urges the Malaysian government to ratify the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol in order to protect refugees and asylum-seekers living in Malaysia.

Released by,

Andika Wahab
Refugee Coordinator
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
0163723699
[email protected]