Malaysia’s New Govt Claims it Will Not Hand Over Uyghur Refugees into China

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Malaysia’s new government won’t extradite cultural Uyghurs to China if Beijing asks it and enables them safe passage into another nation, a cabinet member told parliament recently, responding to queries from a lawmaker concerned that the policy may harm relations with China.

Though the government considers every nation has the right to fix its own internal problems since it selects, the authorities also considers Uyghurs are being oppressed in China, so it will not ship them back there,” stated Redzuan Md Yusof, ministry at the Prime Minister’s Department.

“[I]n the subject of Uyghur refugees, the government is of the stand to not interfere in the internal affairs of China,” Redzuan stated in his written reaction. “But if some Uyghur refugees flee to Malaysia for security, Malaysia has determined to not extradite them if China asks it,” Redzuan explained.

“Malaysia considers every state has the right to fix its internal problems with no interference from different nations. [But] that the problem of oppression from Muslims across the world, for example of those Uyghurs in Xinjiang in China, does exist and has to be confessed by all parties,” he explained.

Redzuan farther said that any Uyghurs could”be permitted to attend another country” through Malaysia since”they have legal fears about their safety and about persecution against them within their own nation.”

Redzuan’s comments mark the first time that the government of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has openly articulated a stance on the Uyghurs since coming to power at Muslim-majority Malaysia six months past.

The former government, headed by Mahathir Mohamad, had said it would not extradite Uyghurs to China.

The minister’s remarks outlining the Muhyiddin administration’s policy on Uyghurs have been in response to written questions posed by opposition parliamentarian Chan Foong Hin at July-August. The minister’s answers were printed on the parliament’s site on Friday.

The opposition lawmaker told BenarNews he had questions regarding Uyghur refugees in Malaysia since he wished to understand what the new administration’s stance was what its consequences are to Sino-Malaysian relations.

“As far as I’m concerned, I remembered that the authorities extradited Uyghur refugees into China throughout the Najib [Razak] government, however, Mahathir’s administration changed the preceding policy and refused to extradite them to China, although there was a petition from China,” said Chan.

“I’m very concerned about it since the changes in coverage could have consequences for both Malaysia and China bilateral relations.”

Human rights group Amnesty International Malaysia, however, lauded the new administration’s standing on Uyghur refugees.

“We’re thankful that the government have said on record that they won’t violate the principle of non-refoulement in international law, forbidding the return of refugees to their state of origin where they may face violence and persecution,” Katrina Maliamauv, executive director of the rights group, informed BenarNews, that an RFA-affiliated online news services.

“The discussion of Uyghur refugees in China has gone on for much too long and also the government’s recognition of Uyghurs’ refugee status is a good step forward.”

Maliamauv also stated the refuges have to have the ability to find asylum.

“To preserve the principle of non-refoulement also suggests that refugees should be permitted to seek asylum.”

On Friday, officials in the Chinese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from BenarNews concerning the minister’s announcement to parliament.

Beijing was accused of committing mass atrocities from Uyghur and other Muslim minorities in northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Chinese authorities are thought to have held around 1.8 million individuals in a huge community of internment camps in the area since April 2017.

Beijing clarifies the community of camps since voluntary”Profession centers,” however reporting by RFA and other media outlets proves that detainees are for the most part held against their will in poor states, where they’re forced to endure inhumane treatment and governmental indoctrination.

China’s government has also defended its policies in the area as part of a formal bid to fight extremism.

Policy change

The movement with a senior officer from Muhyiddin’s authorities to state it is going to protect Uyghurs against extradition to China is important because authorities in Malaysia have often shied away from commenting about the plight of the community. At exactly the exact same time, however, they’ve been vocal about criticizing the mistreatment of the Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, and also have encouraged the Palestinians in the Middle East.

The shift started with the Mahathir government, though the veteran politician advised BenarNews a year ago that lots of Muslim nations’ leaders are usually silent about the Uyghurs”since China is a really strong nation.”

Back in October 2018, the Mahathir government delivered 11 Uyghur refugees from Xinjiang into Turkey after falling immigration charges against them, in defiance of a petition by Beijing they are returned.

In doing this, Mahathir distanced himself from the preceding Najib government, which needed to extradite that the 11 Uyghurs who’d entered Malaysia illegally when they escaped by a Thai prison at Nov 2017.

“They’ve done nothing wrong in this nation, so they’re published,” Mahathir told press days following the Uyghurs were shipped to Turkey, Reuters reported.

Mahathir chose a firmer stand on the Uyghurs a year after.

“The problems of oppression from Islam worldwide, such as the Uyghurs, exist and has to be admitted by all parties,” Mahathir said in parliament in December 2019, even as he reiterated his government would not intervene in China’s internal affairs.

“In case Uyghurs are visiting Malaysia to seek asylum, Malaysia won’t extradite them if there’s an program from China. They’re permitted to visit the third state since they have valid fears over their safety.”

Reported by BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news services.


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