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Selasa, 23 Jun 2009

Keadilan calls for the release of 14 Burmese asylum seekers and refugees arrested during the birthday celebration of Aung San Suu Kyi

Press Statement
23 June 2009

Parti Keadilan Rakyat condemns the totally unjustified and needless arrest of 14 Burmese asylum seekers and refugees by the Petaling Jaya police last Friday during an event at Taman Jaya to celebrate the 64th birthday of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, an occasion marked around the world by pro-democracy advocates.
To sabotage the event and arrest these vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees raise very serious concerns on the professionalism and sincerity of the police in tackling real and serious crimes that have plagued the country. Keadilan does not see how the police saw fit to call upon about 100 police personnel including the riot squad and blocking roads around Taman Jaya and creating a massive traffic jam to stop a peaceful birthday celebration attended by some 50 local and Burmese participants.
These arrests will further cast a serious doubt over the Malaysian government’s sincerity in calling for greater democracy and reform in Burma. It is all the more alarming since the arrest occurred on the eve of World Refugee Day and the recent release of reports that Malaysia has been downgraded to Tier 3 (the worst ranking) in the Trafficking in Persons Report 2009 and once again ranked in the World Refugee Survey 2009 as among the worst countries for refugees to live in.
Keadilan calls upon the Petaling Jaya district police to immediately release the asylum seekers and refugees arrested and to allow UNHCR full access to them while they remain in police custody.

Released by:
Latheefa Koya
Information Chief
Parti Keadilan Rakyat

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