Stop Genocide – Push for Intervention Now

For Immediate Release
8 September 2017

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) welcomes the decision by Khairy Jamaluddin to engage with the Myanmar embassy with regards to the persecution and killing of ethnic Rohingya in Rakhine, Myanmar.

Given the urgency and gravity of the situation faced by Rohingya and others in Rakhine state at this present moment, it is of paramount importance for all stakeholders to set aside political differences and act together and immediately to stop the genocide. Failure to act at this crucial juncture would condemn the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya and others to further forced displacement, violence, deprivation and possible death.

As a member of the cabinet, Khairy Jamaluddin must go beyond merely meeting with the United Nations office in Malaysia and the Myanmar embassy. Instead, he must be part of an immediate Malaysian Government collective cabinet decision which will result in the Government of Malaysia taking a strong lead in addressing the issue of genocide in Rakhine state and the urgent need to protect thousands of innocent civilians, including but not confined to the urgent delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid.

To this end, SUARAM calls for the Government of Malaysia to:

1) demand all sides stop the violence with immediate effect.

2) urge all fellow ASEAN members to insist the Myanmar government honours its commitments to the ASEAN Charter, the ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights, and all other ASEAN and international instruments to which Myanmar is a signatory. This will mean an immediate cessation of violence, the proactive protection of all civilians against displacement and violence, the guaranteed safe return of all those displaced by the violence and the securement of their land and help with rebuilding their communities, and the provision of basic necessities to everyone, including those in IDP Camps.

3) to call upon fellow ASEAN governments, the international community and other partners, to support the Myanmar government and the Bangladesh government in providing essential and urgent humanitarian aid to the hundreds of thousands displaced, including those who have fled into the Bangladesh and/or are at the border area with Bangladesh, as well as to Rohingya and others still in Arakan state, including in the IDP Camps.

4) to make sure that ASEAN members and the international community come together to support the Myanmar government with immediate effect in translating the recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission Report on Rakhine state into practice. These recommendations include the guaranteeing of citizenship rights and form a ready-made roadmap for a secure and safe future for all in Rakhine state.

5) to call upon Aung Suu Kyi and her government in Myanmar to allow independent monitors into all areas, to assess humanitarian need and to assess any responsibility for any crimes committed in the course of the violence. If, as she maintains, her government and military have done nothing wrong, this should not be a problem.

In Solidarity
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM

Atrocities in Rakhine State in Myanmar Must Stop and Allegation of Crime against Humanity Must be Investigated

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) is gravely concerned with the on-going crackdown and violence against ethnic Rohingya in the Rakhine state of Myanmar and condemn the escalating human rights violations against the Rohingya community in Rakhine.

The preliminary investigations and inquiry by the United Nations has raised concerns that there may be crime against humanity committed in Myanmar. Despite grave allegations posed against the Myanmar government, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s resolution (A/HRC/RES/34/22) to dispatch an independent international fact-finding mission was refused by the Myanmar government, further cementing the concerns that there are substantial human rights violations in the region.

The persecution of ethnic Rohingya stand as one of the worst human rights violations in the ASEAN region. The consistent threats posed against the community by the Myanmar government and the active attempt to eliminate the Rohingya from Myanmar can no longer be treated as merely crime against humanity but must be called as it is, a genocide.

Recognizing the plight of the Rohingya, Malaysia must play a proactive role to protect and promote the rights of the community within and outside of Malaysia. The protection of these rights including the rights to peaceful assembly afforded to Malaysians and to any foreign nationals including the Rohingya.

SUARAM is appalled by the attempts to deprive the Rohingya of their fundamental human rights and call for all stakeholders to uphold the rights of the Rohingya in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Recognizing the immediate need for intervention and the irreparable harm inflicted on the Rohingya, SUARAM calls for the Myanmar government to:

  • Cease all hostilities and military maneuvers by the Myanmar government in Rakhine;
  • Allow the proposed international fact-finding mission to enter Rakhine to investigate all allegations of crime against humanity and genocide;
  • Allow the entry of humanitarian outfits to provide assistance to refugees and casualties of the conflict.

SUARAM also calls for the Malaysian government to:

  • Intervene, on behalf of the Rohingya people, in all international and regional platform;
  • Summon the Myanmar Ambassador to Malaysia to answer for the on-going human rights violations in Myanmar;
  • And, to suspend diplomatic ties with Myanmar in the event of further escalations.

In Solidarity
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM

*Notes

Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Interview with Rohingya’s fleeing from Myanmar since 9 October 2016

http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/MM/FlashReport3Feb2017.pdf

Resolution A/HRC/RES/34/22

https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G17/081/98/PDF/G1708198.pdf?OpenElement

 

Concerns over the Proposed Australia-Malaysia Refugee Transfer Arrangement

Concerns over the Proposed Australia-Malaysia Refugee Transfer Arrangement

For Release: 12 May 2011

The Migration Working Group is deeply concerned to hear about the possibility of a bilateral agreement between Australia and Malaysia in which 800 asylum seekers arriving by boat to Australia will be transferred to Malaysia for refugee status determination in return for Australia resettling 4,000 UNHCR-recognised refugees over 4 years.

Australia, as a state party to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (1951 Convention) and its 1967 Protocol, should not violate its obligations under the 1951 Convention. It is surprising that Australia would even consider Malaysia as an ally in refugee protection. Malaysia has shown no positive signs of considering accession to the 1951 Convention. Worse still, Malaysia has one of the most appalling records for the abuse, torture and detention of asylum seekers and refugees.

Most asylum seekers and refugees in Malaysia live in squalid conditions, poverty and insecurity. Without the formal right to reside and work in Malaysia, most are forced to obtain jobs in the informal economy, where many suffer from violations of labour rights, including unpaid wages and forced labour. They are in constant danger of arrest, detention, punishment for immigration offences (including whipping) and deportation, leading to refoulement. When arrested, they face months of detention in immigration detention depots, many of which are overcrowded and unhygienic with poor sanitation. Refugee children are not provided with access to education.

We are concerned that the 800 asylum seekers transferred to Malaysia will suffer from the same conditions currently faced by asylum seekers and refugees in Malaysia. What procedural safeguards and measures will Australia and Malaysia put in place to ensure that the rights of asylum seekers and refugees under the 1951 Convention are protected? How will Australia and Malaysia ensure that they will have access to fair refugee status determination procedures and will not be subject to indefinite detention, punishment for immigration offences, and refoulement? While in Malaysia, will they have the right to reside, to work, and, for children, the right to education?

We urge Australia and Malaysia to live up to their existing human rights obligations as members of the United Nations, and for Malaysia to accede to the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol without further delay. Without a domestic legal framework in place for refugee protection that meets the standards of the 1951 Convention, Malaysia should not be considered a safe place for asylum seekers and refugees.

For more information, please contact Daniel Lo, Co-Coordinator of the Migration Working Group at 012 218 6051 (mobile) or [email protected] (email)

Endorsed by the following members of the Migration Working Group:

Building and Woodworkers International (BWI) Asia Pacific
Coalition to Abolish Modern-Day Slavery in Asia (CAMSA)
Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility (CARAM Asia)
Foreign Spouse Support Group (FFSG)
The National Human Rights Society (HAKAM)
Health Equity Initiatives (HEI)
Justice, Peace & Solidarity In Mission Office, Congregation of the Good Shepherd Sisters, Province of Singapore-Malaysia
Lawyers for Liberty (LFL)
Malaysian Social Research Institute (MSRI)
Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC)
Penang Office for Human Development (POHD)
Pusat Kebajikan Good Shepherd (PKGS)
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
Tenaganita
Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)

About the Migration Working Group:

The Migration Working Group (MWG) is a network of Malaysian civil society groups and individuals who advocate for the rights of migrants, refugees, stateless persons, trafficked persons and foreign spouses.

142 ARE STATE PARTIES. IT IS TIME FOR MALAYSIA!

SUARAM will be organizing a launch event on our campaign “142 ARE STATE PARTIES. IT IS TIME FOR MALAYSIA!” in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the 1951 convention this year.

The launching event will be held:

Date : 8 May 2011 (Sunday)
Place : Annexe Gallery (Central Market, Kuala Lumpur)
Time : 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm

Objectives of the campaign are:

 To remind the 60th Anniversary of the 1951 convention and to urge government to accede the both 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol
 To urge government to establish domestic act and to protect and promote the rights of refugees, in particular, child and woman refugees, under the both conventions namely the Convention on the Rights of Children (CRC) and Convention on the Elimination and Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
 To widen awareness on the life and challenges of refugees living in Malaysia

Event is open to public!!!

For more details:

Contact refugee-desk SUARAM, Andika Wahab, 0163723699 or email to [email protected]

What is the 1951 Convention?

The Convention is the only international agreement covering the most important aspects of a refugee’s life. According to its terms, refugees deserve, as a minimum, the same standards of treatment enjoyed by other foreign nationals in a given country and, in many cases, the same treatment as nationals. The Convention also recognizes the international scope of the refugee phenomenon and the importance of burden sharing in trying to resolve it, and helps promote international solidarity and cooperation.

Year 2011 marks the 60th Anniversary of the 1951 Convention

28 July 2011 marks the 60-year anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees. About 142 states had acceded the both convention and protocol since its establishment, but Malaysia is yet reluctant to accede the instruments.

142 are state parties: It is time for Malaysia!

Why Malaysian government should accede both the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol?

To provide legal protection and promotion of the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers in accordance with internationally recognized legal and humanitarian standards.
To keep Malaysia’s positive image on the human rights issues in an international arena
To avoid conflict and/or friction between origin and hosting government over refugee questions
To demonstrate the Malaysian government’s commitment and willingness for “burden sharing” in handling global issues
To establish refugee’s effective administration and cooperation with UNHCR
To improve immigration detention centre’s capacity and treatments
To support the lack of human resource in various domestic sectors in Malaysia

RSVP to: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=111562645595870