Refugee swap: NGOs keep the heat on

KUALA LUMPUR: Several NGOs submitted a joint memorandum to the Australian High Commission here today protesting the asylum seekers swap between Malaysia and Australia. At a press conference later, Tenaganita chairman Irene Fernandez said civil societies were in the dark about the details of the agreement. “So we asked for the details but the deputy…

‘Refugee swap illegal’: Local NGOs agree

PETALING JAYA: Local NGOs agreed with the Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) that Australia’s plan to send boat people to Malaysia could be illegal. High Commissioner Navi Pillay was quoted in the Australian media today as saying that the refugee swap would be against the law since Malaysia was not a…

Lawyers: Legal rights as important as safety

PETALING JAYA: The right to legal representation while in police custody is as important as ensuring that the individuals and lawyers have a safe environment in which to meet. Malaysian Bar secretary Tony Woon said the initiative to have lawyers meet clients, who are in police custody, on the ground floor of police stations could…

Fury within Malaysia over refugee deal

A coalition of high-profile Malaysian lawyers and human rights groups have called on Australia to scrap its refugee exchange deal with Malaysia immediately. The groups, which include the Malaysian Bar Council and human rights organisation Suaram, accused Australia of trying to “outsource” its international obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention. They were due to meet…

Hard life for refugees in Malaysia

    Tan Tian Maw sits in an office on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, hands trembling in her lap, and describes how she was raped by two Malaysian policemen. Her voice is soft and barely audible above the dragon boat drummer practising outside. “She hasn’t had any trauma counselling,” her lawyer, Latheefa Koya, explains.…