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MALAYSIA – Rohingya refugees face challenges of inhumanity

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Arakan Rohingya Refugee Committee (ARRC) in Malaysia issued the press release below on 24 May 2010, expressing concerns over the crises the Rohingya refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia are facing. They are not receiving enough health care and many are passing lives in critical situation.

We at the Arakan Rohingya Refugee Committee (ARRC), Malaysia is deeply concerned over the health crises of the Rohingya refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia as they are bitterly experiencing of discriminatory treatments with unbearable payments and exclusive recommendation.

Currently, numbers of senior or over aged refugees who do not have relatives or caretaker are getting worse in their health and survival sectors as they are completely deprived of their basic rights to food, accommodation, medication and etc.

Base on their status under international and customary laws, every retired person would be taken care of concern officials but, now, status of such persons are underestimated with discriminatory policies.

According to reliable testimonies, UNHCR pays less attention to their cases for their religious belief, while hospital authorities deny to giving treatment for national or financial status, even reluctant to issue appropriate recommendation.

Comparably, Rohingya refugees fall between two sharp swords that lead them to die without proper medications, while numbers of free clinics are being set up for non-Rohingya refugees in Malaysia by NGOs or volunteers from Church members or Christian societies, where Rohingya gets very limited facilities.

In such condition, numbers of Rohingya have already died and many are passing lives in critical situation.

At the same times, numbers of undocumented Rohingya refugees are facing challenges of inhumanity, which is not only in the hands of concerned authority but also in hands of locals. These are only because of lack of their guardians by any sort of documentation.

Despite being genuine refugees, their rights to the determination of refugee status and protection are kept pending, while appropriate advocacy remains unreported as these people are uneducated and neglected by various means in the different quarters.

It is undoubtedly true that the Rohingya left country to escape military persecution and discrimination. Their rights to citizenship were also denied by the ruling military.

Although, the UN Refugee Convention defined that Refugees are person who have their country of origin with well founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion, the Rohingya failed to meet their rights adequately.

Accordance to the definition, the Rohingyas met with refugee status and their basic rights to protections, food, shelter, medication and etc must be ensured by the concerned quarters, while Islamic authority should not play games without supporting to the real causes of Rohingya in finding permanent solution with a view to ending their miserable plights.

In these regards, we appeal to international community:

  1. To kindly make true survey to enhance a comprehensive program in order to promotion mechanism, combating to end the plights Rohingya refugees;
  2. To help UNHCR with a particular health service program for the Rohingya refugees and to ensure their rights with proper documentation as mandated refugees;
  3. To urgently making global appeal to the world bodies to introduces a global solution for these forgotten and neglected Rohingya refugees from Malaysia.