Kuala Lumpur, MINA – Human rights organisations have criticised Malaysian authorities for detaining four Egyptians critical of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi with the intention of returning them to Egypt.
Describing the move as a violation of human rights law and legal procedure, the groups expressed fear the Egyptians will face severe punishment back home. Al-Jazeera reported.
An official at Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Friday that four Egyptians had been detained in an operation by Special Branch, the intelligence arm of the country’s police, and the immigration department.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the men were not registered as refugees.
“We can confirm the four have been arrested under SOSMA,” the official said. “They are in the hands of the immigration department and the Egyptian embassy has been informed.”
SOSMA, the Security Offences (Special Measures Act), replaced Malaysia’s Internal Security Act in 2012, and is supposed to be used to “fight terrorism”. Critics say it is draconian and open to abuse.
Eyewitnesses said one of the men, Mohammed Fathi, had his vehicle stopped and he was taken away by three masked men in Malaysian military uniform, along with several others in civilian clothes.
The wife of Abdullah Hisham Mustafa, another man facing deportation, said she had no idea about his fate. She said her husband could face torture or execution if handed over to the Egyptian authorities. (T/P2)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)