April 13, 2021
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Kidnapped Chin Refugee Safely Home after Three Days

04 August 2012: Mr. Kung Bawih, a Chin refugee from Burma, safely got back to his rented apartment in Kuala Lumpur after being kidnapped for three days by ‘uniformed’ police in Malaysia.

 The 37-year-old refugee was stopped and threatened near the Immanuel Charity Home in Jalan Imbi around 7am while on his way to give money to his relatives on 28 July 2012.

“Two persons wearing a police uniform on their bike passed by and asked me an ID card in the early morning. When I presented my UNHCR refugee card, they said they didn’t accept it. They started groping my whole body in search of any valuable items,” said the Chin victim.

“Once they knew that I had money, they said they arrested me because I couldn’t prove any identity card that they accepted. They let me sit on their bike and stopped by the bridge between Pudu and Imbi. They talked on the phone for a while and another person in a casual dress took me on his bike,” added Kung Bawih.

When asked about the direction after quite a distance, the bike driver, who was later joined by another two ‘non-uniformed’ Malaysians, said they were on their way back to his place.

Kung Bawih said he didn’t remember what happened afterwards, recalling: “When I woke up in the morning on 30 July, my head and throat were very painful.”

The Chin refugee said he found himself left alone in the jungle outside the Malaysian capital city and all his money was lost by the time he became conscious.

Kung Bawih eventually made his way back to Jalan Imbi of Kuala Lumpur around midnight after taking a long walk, adding: “I asked for help from a male Malaysian who gave me 3 Ringgits and I took a Metro bus up to the Kuala Lumpur City Center.”

He has been arrested at least 50 times during his arrival in Malaysia over the past five years, according to the Seihnam newsletter, a weekly journal published in Hakha-Chin in Kuala Lumpur.

Due to the incident, Kung Bawih, from Thantlang town of Burma’s Chin State, was unable to attend an interview at the UNHCR Office for his resettlement to Australia 30 July 2012.

Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang
[email protected]

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