Detained Chin Refugees Face Immigration Charges
10 August 2012: Three undocumented Chin asylum seekers are facing immigration charges after being arrested by Malaysian police in Kuala Perlis last Wednesday.
Ai Mung Phyu Hla, Ai Aung Lin Tun and Ai San Aung in their mid twenties have been held in custody at an immigration detention center in the Malaysian port town near Thailand.
It is believed that none of them have recognition from the United Nations agency.
The three Chins, originally from Kyaukphya village in Paletwa Township of Chin State, Burma, were pinched while waiting for a ferry to go to Langkawi, an island some 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia.
Ko Lwin Lwin, Cordinator of the Paletwa Khumi Community based in Kuala Lumpur, was quoted by the Khumi Media Group as saying that there was communication with the three detainees and that attempts have been made to release them as soon as possible.
It is claimed that the three Chins would be put on trial at court after 14 days of detention and could face punishment if a legal intervention is not made on time.
Ai Aung Lin Tun and Ai San Aung are members of the Alliance of Chin Refugees (ACR), a community-based voluntary organization providing social services to Chin refugees, while Ai Mung Phyu Hla only arrived in Malaysia on Tuesday.
Aung Lin Tun and San Aung arrived in Malaysia in 2011, according to the Khumi Media Group.
An estimated 800 Khumi Chins are currently stranded in Malaysia after fleeing their native places as refugees from Paletwa Township, Chin State of Burma.
Reporting by Peter Lu with Thawng Zel Thang