27 April, 2009

CHRO: UNHCR To Take Immediate Action Against Abuses In Malaysia

Chin Human Rights Organisation (CHRO) has urged Kuala Lumpur-based UNHCR to take immediate action on behalf of detained Chin refugees and asylum seekers against the ongoing mistreatment and abuses inflicted upon migrants from Burma by the Malaysian authorities.

The Malaysian authorities have been criticised for its continuation of conducting raids and ‘bad treatment’ on refugees in Malaysia despite a recent report Trafficking and Extortion of Burmese Migrants in Malaysia and Southern Thailand by the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, documenting and disclosing the 'ill-treatment and rough handling' against the migrants.

CHRO’s report last Friday said: "The report findings include the involvement of Malaysian officials in the arrest, detention, and extortion of Burmese migrants and refugees; mistreatment of detainees in detention facilities, including whippings and torture; and the transfer of Burmese migrants and refugees to traffickers for payment. Burmese migrants and refugees in the hands of traffickers are subject to further extortion and mistreatment and are at risk of being sold into the fishing or sex industry."

The report is based on a one-year investigation by the Senate Committee and includes information provided by NGOs, including CHRO, as well as first-hand testimony from trafficking victims. Salai Bawi Lian Mang, Executive Director of CHRO, said: “Chin refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia have long been subject to abuse and exploitation by Malaysian officials and their operatives. We appreciate this initiative by the U.S. government and hope it will put pressure on the Malaysian government to act responsibly towards migrants and refugees living within its borders.”

The Malaysian authorities rounded up and detained some 300 migrants, including small children, during raids in the Imbi neighborhood of Kuala Lumpur late Wednesday night. Over 100 Chin refugees and asylum seekers are among those arrested, including 14 children and two pregnant women. The authorities have been conducting similar raids throughout the city with increasing frequency during this past month.

The 106 Chin refugees and asylum seekers caught up in the raids earlier this week are currently being held in Bukit Jali police station. Kennedy Lal Ram Lian, coordinator of the Chin Refugee Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia said: “No one has been released, not even UNHCR card holders.” More than 10 Chin detainees are UNHCR-recognized refugees awaiting resettlement to a third country. If they are deported to the border, they are at risk of being sold to traffickers.

The Chin community represents one of the largest refugee communities from Burma living in Malaysia. For more than ten years, the Chin people have fled to Malaysia to escape persecution, torture, and severe oppression in Burma. In Malaysia they are they are the constant target of harassment, arrest, detention, and deportation by the Malaysian authorities. They are unable to work, receive an education, access healthcare services, or find acceptable living accommodations.

SPDC Authorities Shut Down Dai Christian Church in Rangoon

The local authorities in North Dagon Township, Rangoon closed down the Dai Christian Fellowship Church last Sunday, 19 April while the church pastor was attending an International Brethren Conference in Malaysia.
SPDC's local authorities came to the church in the evening and ordered not to do any worship services again, according to one of the church leaders, who added: "This is the only church service that the Dai people in Rangoon have and it is becoming rendezvous for all of us. Unfortunately, the church has been closed down and every church member feels really sad so we need your special fervent prayer for help.'
One of the church leaders, who asks not to be named for the security reasons, said the DCF church, which has got about 70 regular church-goers, was ordered to closed and stop holding church services without any giving reasons by local authority officers.
An orphanage "Victoria Childcare Home" with about 15 children being looked after by the Dai Christian Fellowship (DCF) was also included in the recent closure. Other churches based in Ward 46 of North Dagon were said to have been locked on the same day but the number has not yet been known.
UK-based Dai-Chin pastor, Rev.Shwekey Hoipangs, who co-founded the church in late 2007, told Chinland Guardian: "The Military Regime makes a serious of raids to close down the churches, Bible colleges and orphanages in Rangoon in April 2009. It is clear that the Military Regime's strategies to destroy the Christian activities one by one and one place to another discretely place. It is an ongoing plan of the Military Regime to wipe out the Christian in Burma."
It is estimated that more than 200 Dai people, one of the sub-Chin tribes from Southern Chin state, live in Rangoon, former capital of Burma.
Since December 2008, more than 100 churches in Rangoon's South Dagon, Pabedan, Shwepyithar townships have been shut down, about 50 pastors forced to sign the document promising to stop holding church services, and 80 per cent of churches in Rangoon affected, according to a report by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) early this year.
Burma's military regime has been condemned by international communities and Chin Christian across the world for its brutal yet escalating crackdowns on Christian activities in the country.
One of the Dai refugee leaders in Malaysia said " We are Christian, small ethnic tribes of Burma and different political opinion of Military government that we are discriminated, arrested, tortured by Burmese Military Regime and faced serious religion persecution. It is very clear and transparency that we cannot build our own home and our churches in our Dai land."

12 April, 2009

Sixteen Dai refugees are in Detention Camps and Prison

Sixteen Dai refugees were arrested by RELA, Immigration Officers and police after that they were sentenced to along Malaysia prisons and detention camps for months. Mr.Ro Mun a Dai refugee from Myanmar is still detained in Semenyih detention camp for more than 7 months. Mr.Daniel Thang and Mr.Bu Khai are waiting for two times whipping at Kajang prison even though they finished their 3 months sentence. Mr.Lu Ha is waiting for further high court a ppoinment date at 26th May and also detained in Kajang prison. His wife and me visited to see him but the prison officer said that we could not see him within one month two times. UNHCR's OPI department is trying to help some of Dai refugees to release from different detention camps. On the April 11 one of the Dai refugee, Mr.Peter was deported to the boarder of Thailand and came back to Malaysia. He said he has spent 2100 RM for reintering to Malaysia.

04 April, 2009

Eleven Refugees are in Detention Camps and Prison

Eleven Dai refugees are arrested and detained in detention camps and prisons along Malaysia. They are arrested by Rela, Immigration officers and police and still in detention camps and prisons. We are not sure whether they will be deported or sent back to Burma. We have already informed to Malaysia UNHCR office about their specific details. Among them three of them were canned. One of them, Mr.Lu Ha was accused by Chinese woman as behalf of robbery. Actually he is annocent. He is going to USA with his family but further judiciary appointment date will be on 26 May 2009. Pray for all of Dai refugees to get the protection of the highest heavenly Father. The world should know we do love our land and we want to go back our land. We don't want to be refugee any where.