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Malaysian 'Volunteers' Arrest More Than 200 Burmese
by Rohingya Human Rights
2007-07-06 00:48:38
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Malaysia's government-backed People's Volunteer Corps, or Rela, arrested more than 200 Burmese citizens in immigration raids early Monday morning in Kuala Lumpur, according to Burmese sources in the country.

Members of the volunteer force raided two locations in Jalan Imbi and Sempaing in the Malaysian capital and arrested 217 Burmese, including asylum-seekers and UNHCR-recognized refugees, Nani Nuncinpar, the office manager of the Malaysia-based Chin Refugee Center, told The Irrawaddy.

"This is a terrible time [for the raids]," said Nani. "Today, they [Rela] arrested people who are waiting to resettle to a third country. They released 11 people after the UNHCR made an appeal to them." Nani added that several others awaiting resettlement remain in custody.

The CRC said its coordinator was among those arrested, and that he and his family are scheduled to resettle in the US in September.

The arrested Burmese were taken to a detention camp in Lentteng in Kuala Lumpur in the second large-scale immigration raid since the beginning of the year, according to a statement released o¬n Monday by the Chin Human Rights Organization, which assists Chin communities in Malaysia.

"It makes the situation for asylum seekers living [in Malaysia] very difficult, particularly those who are not coming simply for economic reasons," said Amy Alexander, a legal consultant with the CHRO. "They are coming because they have nowhere else to go. For them, they need security and protection."

The detained Burmese include pregnant women and young children, said Alexander.

Representatives of the CRC and the UNHCR are currently negotiating with the Malaysian government for the release of all detainees.

There are over 23,000 Chin asylum seekers and refugees currently living in Malaysia, according to the CHRO. Few are able to find work, receive an education, access healthcare services or find acceptable living accommodations, according to the rights group.

By Saw Yan Naing
June 26 , 2007

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The Rohingya community of Arakan , Burma ( Myanmar ) is one of the most unfortunate and down-trodden minority groups of the world, who have been constantly subjected to gross human rights violation decades after decades by the military rulers of Burma who have turned Burma into a secret state of terror since 1962. The Council for Restoration of Democracy in Burma (CRDB) has been working for the restoration of Democracy in Burma as well as for the restoration of human rights of Rohingya community. Our Email: crdb.rohingyas@gmail.com

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