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World Malaysian court hears appeal against caning of 27 Rohingya men

08:51  22 july  2020
08:51  22 july  2020 Source:   aljazeera.com

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A Malaysian court today will hear a bid to set aside caning sentences handed down to 27 Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar. Twenty-seven men among them were also sentenced to caning , a penalty that Andrew was seeking to overturn in court tomorrow.

A Malaysian court will hear a bid to set aside caning sentences handed down to 27 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, lawyers said, a punishment that rights groups have decried as vicious and tantamount to torture. Muslim-majority Malaysia has long been a common destination for Rohingya

a group of people in a boat on a body of water: The Rohingya were among those detained in April from a boat off Langkawi [Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency handout via AFP] © [Handout via AFP] The Rohingya were among those detained in April from a boat off Langkawi [Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency handout via AFP]

Human rights groups urged a Malaysian court on Wednesday to set aside caning sentences handed down to 27 Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar, describing the punishment as tantamount to torture.

In June, a court on Malaysia's Langkawi island sentenced 40 Rohingya refugees to seven months' jail for arriving in the country by boat without a valid permit, Collin Andrew, a lawyer representing the refugees, told Reuters news agency.

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A Malaysian court on Wednesday will hear a bid to set aside caning sentences handed down to 27 Muslim-majority Malaysia has long been a favoured destination for Rohingya seeking a better life after “So it’s quite unusual for the court to impose caning against Rohingya in this case,” he said.

A Malaysian court on Wednesday will hear a bid to set aside caning sentences handed down to 27 Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar, lawyers said, a Twenty-seven men among them were also sentenced to caning , a penalty that Andrew was seeking to overturn in court on Wednesday.

Twenty-seven of the men were also sentenced to caning, a penalty that Andrew was seeking to overturn in court on Wednesday.

John Quinley of Fortify Rights, which monitors the situation of the Rohingyas, urged the Malaysian court to drop the charges against.

"These Rohingya are refugees and are potentially trafficking survivors," Quinley told Al Jazeera. "Caning should not be used as any form of punishment. These Rohingya are fleeing genocide and they deserve protection."

Malaysia has long been a favoured destination for the mainly Muslim Rohingya who have suffered decades of discrimination in Myanmar. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague is currently investigating allegations of genocide against Myanmar over its treatment of the Rohingya, hundreds of thousands of whom fled the western state of Rakhine amid a brutal military crackdown in 2017.

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A Malaysian court on Wednesday will hear a bid to set aside caning sentences handed down to 27 Muslim-majority Malaysia has long been a favoured destination for Rohingya seeking a better life after Twenty-seven men among them were also sentenced to caning , a penalty that Andrew was

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - A Malaysian court on Wednesday will hear a bid to set aside caning Twenty-seven men among them were also sentenced to caning , a penalty that Andrew was seeking This month, the court had dismissed a case against 51 Rohingya minors who were also charged for

Human Rights Watch said Malaysia should ensure that the refugees "are protected in accordance with international law."

"Malaysia is unlawfully treating as criminals people who fled atrocities in Myanmar," said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "Rohingya arriving by boat should be considered as refugees who have a right to protection under international law."

Favoured destination

Malaysia is not a sigantory to the UN convention on refugees and has recently turned away boats and detained hundreds of Rohingya.

Earlier this week, the rights group Amnesty International also urged Malaysia not to cane the refugees, saying it was "cruel and inhumane".

"To inflict such a violent punishment as judicial caning amounts to torture," Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Amnesty's researcher for Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Brunei said in a statement.

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A group of Rohingya who survived a perilous sea voyage to Malaysia are set to be caned for entering the country illegally, activists said Tuesday, decrying the "barbaric" sentence. Hundreds of thousands of Muslim Rohingya have fled persecution and violence in mostly Buddhist Myanmar in recent.

A group of 31 Rohingya men who disembarked from a boat in April have since been convicted Malaysian immigration officials escort undocumented migrants to a transport truck during a raid near Malaysian officials deny poor treatment in the centres. Director-general of health Dr Noor Hisham

As of the end of June, there were some 177,940 refugees and asylum-seekers registered with the UNHCR in Malaysia. Most are from Myanmar, including 101,320 Rohingya.

The immigration department and the attorney-general's office did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

Under Malaysia's Immigration Act, anyone who illegally enters the country can face a 10,000 ringgit ($2,345) fine, a jail term of as many as five years as well as six strokes of the cane.

Courts can choose not to hand down the caning sentence on humanitarian grounds if the migrant charged is a refugee and does not have any prior criminal history, Andrew said.

"So it's quite unusual for the court to impose caning against Rohingya in this case," he said.

Lawyers have also sought a review of a case against six Rohingya teenagers, including two girls, who Andrew said had been wrongly tried and convicted as adults.

This month, the court had dismissed a case against 51 Rohingya minors who were also charged for violating immigration laws, he said.

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