Kuala Lumpur, MINA – Human Rights Watch (HRW) urges Malaysia and Thailand to save stranded Rohingya refugees by providing humanitarian assistance and asylum for Arakan refugees.
In a statement, HRW said Malaysian authorities detained 269 Rohingya refugees who were aboard a damaged ship off the coast of Langkawi, Malaysia, on Monday. Thus quoted from Anadolu Agency (AA).
In addition, another second boat with an estimated 300 Rohingya refugees was detained at sea near the island of Koh Adang, Thailand.
“Malaysia and Thailand must immediately rescue Rohingya refugees who are stranded at sea and provide them with assistance and asylum,” HRW said.
“The two ships departed from Bangladesh in February, which indicated hundreds of Rohingyas on board had been at sea for four months without adequate food and water,” the rights group said.
The statement said nearly 100 Rohingya refugees may have died aboard a ship bound for Malaysia due to severe conditions, but were rescued by Bangladesh coast guard forces.
“Southeast Asian governments are heartlessly raising their hands to protect Rohingya refugees who are in dire need of shelter and a future after the Myanmar military evicted them from their homes with mass atrocities,” said Brad Adams, director of HRW Asia.
“While Myanmar must ultimately be held responsible for the suffering of Rohingya refugees, Malaysia, and Thailand must stop wearing blinders about the immediate risks and suffering they face at sea,” he said.
In the latest incident, HRW said, Malaysian authorities “intended to push [Rohingya refugee ships] into international waters, but a damaged engine prevented refugee ships from sailing.
“Around 50 refugees jumped from the ship and swam to shore, they were detained, while the ship with the remaining passengers was pulled to Langkawi. The Malaysian Maritime Agency arrested them on arrival and detained them at the center of the National Development Camp, “HRW said. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)