Press Statement: 17 August 2011
Deportation of Imran Khan: Another Mistake by the Malaysian Government
The deportation of human rights lawyer Imran Khan, a lawyer well-known for cases involving racism, was deported back to London on 13 August after being detained by Immigration for more than 12 hours. This would be the second deportation by the Malaysian government in less than a month.
SUARAM condemn and view the government’s decision to deport Imran Khan is a totally arbitrary act by the Home Ministry and a gross abuse of executive power of the Najib administration. We believe this is politically motivated and the government again made mistake by deporting back another human rights lawyer who came to Malaysia to visit their clients.
Earlier on July 22, French Lawyer William Bourdon was deported to France from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Mr. Bourdon represents SUARAM in an on-going case before French courts against French naval arms producer DCNS over financial irregularities in a Scorpene submarine deal that allegedly involved millions of ringgit in kickbacks.
The British lawyer Imran Khan, arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on the 12 August for a fact-finding mission on the marginalisation of Indian Malaysians and the fact-finding mission is one of many efforts by Hindraf to gather evidence as it picks up from its similar suit in 2007 which was stalled when top Hindraf leaders were detained under the Internal Security Act following the landmark Hindraf rally in Kuala Lumpur. He was deported back to on the 13 August around 2am.
No reasons were given to Imran Khan for his sudden detention and subsequent deportation, as immigration officers stepped into the aircraft to detain him minutes after the plane landed in KLIA. We learnt that, the decision to bar him came from the topmost office of Special Branch in Bukit Aman and the Home Ministry. Such an action by the Malaysian authorities and the behavior of our immigration officials has surely damaged beyond repair all attempts by the Tourism Ministry to sell Malaysia abroad.
The government must explain its shameful action in detaining and deporting Imran Khan to the Malaysian public. It is clear that their failure in fighting racism and racial discrimination is replaced by their tendency to fight human rights defenders.
SUARAM while condemning the Immigration practices, we call upon the Malaysian government and international civil society to eliminate the series of violations and harassment’s practiced against human rights defenders by governmental bureaus, particularly security service.
Finally, we call upon the government of Malaysia to apologies to Imran Khan and allow him come back to Malaysia to meet his clients and perform his duty as a lawyer as clearly stated under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).