Lawyers for Liber­ty critical of deportation of five Egyptians

  • Nation
  • Monday, 11 Mar 2019

Latheefa Koya. -The Star filepic

PETALING JAYA: Lawyers for Liber­ty has continued with its criticism over the arrests and deportations of five Egyptians despite the police insisting that the men have aided foreign terrorists.

Its human rights and law reform group executive director Latheefa Koya (pic) said the claims made by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun were unpro­ven allegations.

“If the Egyptians are believed to have committed such serious offen­ces on Malaysian soil, why were they not charged formally in the Malaysian court?

“Surely, offences committed in Malaysia must be tried here and not in Egypt.

“They should have been given the opportunity to defend themselves in court,” she said in a statement here yesterday.

On Friday, the Malaysian government was also criticised by international human rights groups following reports that it detained four Egyptians critical of the country’s president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi with the intention of extraditing them.

Two of the men have been identified as Mohammed Fathi and Abdullah Hisham Mustafa.

Malaysia, said Latheefa, did not recognise the Muslim Brotherhood organisation as a terrorist outfit, adding that it was unacceptable for the IGP to rely on this to support the decision to deport them.

“The IGP admits to the knowledge that these Egyptians are members of the Muslim Brotherhood,” she said, adding that it was known that the men were likely to face torture, denial of due process or even execution in their home country.

“Their deportation is in breach of the principle of non-refoulement and Malaysia’s international obligations,” she said.

The non-refoulement principle is the practice of not forcing refugees or asylum seekers to return to a country in which they are liable to be subjected to persecution.

Latheefa also claimed that the fa­­mi­lies and lawyers of those detained were kept in the dark throughout the duration of their detention.

“This is a denial of due process,” she said, adding that it protested in the strongest terms the men’s deportation and treatment.

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