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Yusra Habib abdul Gani

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Document - Malaysia: Further information on fear of forcible refoulement of Acehnese asylum-seekers / arbitrary and incommunicado detention and new concern: Legal concern / prolonged detention without trial
PUBLICAI Index: ASA 28/16/98


7 July 1998
Further information on EXTRA 23/98 (ASA 28/06/98, 27 March 1998) and follow-ups (ASA 28/07/98, 31 March 1998, ASA 28/11/98, 9 April 1998 and ASA 28/12/98, 30 April 1998) - Fear of refoulement of Acehnese asylum-seekers / Arbitrary and incommunicado detention and new concern: Legal concern / Prolonged detention without trial.

MALAYSIAIshak Daud, member of ARCM (Acehnese Refugee Committee in Malaysia)
Syahrul Syamaun
Ali
Effendi, member of ASNLF (Aceh-Sumatra National Liberation Front)
Yusra Habib bin Abdul Gani, member of ARCMHasan bin Ahmad, member of ASNLF
Razali bin Abdullah, member of ASNLF
Muhammad Nasir bin Usman
Ibrahim bin Daud
Bakhtiar bin Usman
Sofyan bin Hasan, member of ASNLF (also known as Burhan Syamaun)

Razali bin Abdullah has been ordered to be detained for two years without charge or trial under the Malaysian Internal Security Act (ISA.He was arrested on 23 April 1998 and has since been transferred to Kamunting Detention Centre in the state of Perak. His detention is believed to be connected to allegations that he helped “instigate” riots in the immigration detention camps in March, when large numbers of Acehnese tried to resist forcible deportation to Aceh, Indonesia. Amnesty International is seeking further information about the reasons for his detention.

A second man named above, Yusra Habib bin Abdul Gani, is also reported to have been detained without trial under the ISA for 60 days before being released. Immediately after his release he and his family were helped by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to leave the country for resettlement.

Amnesty International has received unconfirmed reports that three of the above-named men - Ishak Daud, Syahrul Syamaun and Sofyan bin Hasan - have been deported to Aceh where they are now reported to be in detention awaiting trial. The organization is seeking further information about their fate and whereabouts.

Muhammad Nasir bin Usman, Ibrahim bin Daud and Bakhtiar bin Usman are reported to have been released from the custody of the Malaysian authorities. There is no further information available about the fate or whereabouts of the other men named above.

FURTHER BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The ISA allows the police to detain without warrant, for an investigation period of up to 60 days, any person suspected of threatening the national security or economic life of Malaysia. The Minister of Home Affairs may subsequently, and without reference to the courts, issue a detention order of up to two years, renewable indefinitely. Those currently detained under the ISA include a number of prisoners of conscience. Domestic human rights groups have called for the ISA to be repealed.

On 10 June 1998 the UNHCR announced that 14 Acehnese who sought refuge in the UNHCR compound on 30 March, and eight who entered the US Embassy compound on 10 April, were in need of international protection and should not be returned to Indonesia. Efforts are reportedly being made to resettle them in third countries. Amnesty International remains concerned about the fate of 27 other Acehnese asylum-seekers who were arrested after attempting to gain access to the French, Swiss and Brunei diplomatic compounds in April. They are believed to remain at imminent risk of refoulement.(See Extra 34/98, 15 May 1998 and update, 11 June 1998).

Operations to deport all undocumented foreigners in Malaysia are continuing. According to an Associated Press report, Malaysia plans to have deported 200,000 undocumented Indonesian immigrants by mid-August.

FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters in English or in your own language:
- expressing concern at the detention without charge or trial of Razali bin Abdullah;
- urging that he be immediately and unconditionally released if he is not to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence;
- urging the authorities to abide by the principle of non refoulement and ensure that no person is forcibly returned to a country where they might be at risk of serious human rights violations;
- urging the authorities to ensure that UNHCR is allowed unhindered access to all undocumented foreigners who are detained.

APPEALS TO:
Prime Minister
Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad
Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs
Jalan Dato’Onn, 50502 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Telegrams:Prime Minister, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Faxes:+ 60 3 238 3784 / 298 4172
Salutation:Dear Prime Minister
Deputy Minister of Home Affairs

Dato’ Tajol Rosli Ghazali
Jalan Dato’Onn
50502 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
Faxes: +60 3 230 1051
Salutation: Dear Deputy Minister of Home Affairs

COPIES TO:
Deputy Prime Minister
Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
Jalan Dato’ Onn, 50502 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Faxes:+ 60 3 230 1051
and to diplomatic representatives of Malaysia accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 18 August 1998.

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