Arrested Refugees Demanded Money for Release in Malaysia
20 April 2011: Malaysian RELA and police forcibly demanded money from Chin refugees arrested during their recent daylight raids on three separate occasions in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday and Monday.
“They [refugees] were loaded up into a lorry and driven away. Those refugees, who do not have the UNHCR registration card, were asked to pay between 300 and 500 Ringgits if they would like to be freed. But those having the UNHCR registration card were released later on the same day,” a member of Chin refugee community in Kuala Lumpur told Chinland Guardian.
At least an estimated 60 Chin refugees, both ‘unregistered’ and registered by the UNHCR, including women were rounded up and arrested on the streets in Penting, Jalan Imbi and Shalam.
A Chin refugee woman arrested on Monday in Shalam off Kuala Lumpur was set free immediately after a ransom amount of 300 Ringgits was given to the Malaysian police, according to Seihnam newsletter.
Kuala Lumpur-based Chin refugee communities including CRC (Chin Refugee Committee) and ACR (Alliance of Chin Refugees) are said to have been engaged in trying to get those detained free in liaison with the UNHCR.
In recent days, a series of daylight raids have been reported being carried out by Malaysian police and RELA in different locations where the refugees are residing and working.
Van Biak Thang