Amnesty International Malaysia is calling on the public to pile pressure on Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and the government to save Myanmar refugees and asylum seekers from being deported.The online protest is set to be held from 3pm to 5pm today on all social media platforms using the hashtag #MigranJugaManusia (Migrants are People Too).It calls for the public to tag Muhyiddin, Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin and Foreign Affairs Minister Hishamuddin Hussein, among others, to pressure them not to deport the refugees and asylum seekers.Reuters previously reported that the Myanmar military government had offered to send three navy ships to Malaysia to pick up 1,200 detained Myanmar nationals.Yesterday, Free Malaysia Today reported that three Myanmar-flagged vessels, including one described as a military operations ship, had arrived in Lumut, Perak and were anchored off the naval base there.The ships are believed to be scheduled to leave for Myanmar on Tuesday.Immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud later said the repatriation programme, scheduled on Feb 23, would not involve United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) cardholders or the Rohingya community.However, rights groups have questioned whether this would be true.Lawyers for Liberty said the United Nations refugee agency has not been able to access detention centres since 2019 to determine whether any of the detainees would qualify as refugees or asylum seekers.Detainees have in the past included members of the Chin, Kachin and the Rohingya communities who fled ethnic conflict and persecution by the Myanmar military which now runs the country following a coup.Amnesty International said that at least 100 of those being deported are asylum seekers."Among the 1,200 persons to be deported are vulnerable people who need international protection, whose lives and rights are threatened if they are returned to Myanmar."Not a single asylum seeker, refugee or anyone whose life is under threat should be forced to return to Myanmar or any country where they may face persecution."To do so would be in violation of the principle of non-refoulement which applies to Malaysia as part of customary international law," it added.
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