Depot riot: Rohingya Society Malaysia advises escapees to surrender

  • Nation
  • Friday, 22 Apr 2022

GEORGE TOWN: The Rohingya Society Malaysia (RSM) has advised the remaining Rohingya detainees who escaped from the Sungai Bakap Immigration Detention Depot on April 20 to surrender themselves to the authorities immediately.

A representative for the RSM, who declined to be named, said if the escapees continued to be at large, they would continue to be under authority surveillance.

"They need to go to the nearest police station or ask anyone to help send them back to the depot. They need to surrender because they are not criminals.

"If they really are Rohingya refugees, they cannot run away to another country and it is not possible for them to always be on the run,” he said when contacted by Bernama.

ALSO READ: Depot riot: Escapees could give up soon due to exhaustion, hunger, say police

According to Kedah police chief Wan Hassan Wan Ahmad, operations to track down 96 of the Rohingya detainees continued on Friday (April 22), and as of 6am, 76 men, nine women, seven girls and four boys were still at large.

The RSM spokesperson said it was possible that the detainees who were still on the run were scared to go back to the depot.

Elaborating, he said Rohingya refugees experienced a lot of hate speech and prejudice as they were often linked to previous incidents like 'Long Tiger' as well as the issue involving Rohingya activist Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani in April 2020.

At the start of the pandemic, a social media post falsely claimed that Zafar wanted Rohingya refugees to be given the same rights as local citizens in terms of education and employment which then enraged many Malaysians.

"This is not a true statement and we still face a lot of hate speech because of that," he added.

RSM, which was based in Selangor, was founded in 2010 to provide community support such as education, access to medical services and psychosocial support, and coordinate with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and local non-governmental organisations to provide assistance to those in need. - Bernama

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