Disabled Refugee Denied Registration By UNHCR In Malaysia
UNHCR in Malaysia turned down a request of refugee registration made by a Chin disabled asylum seeker from military-ruled Burma last Friday, saying he is not in a vulnerable condition.
Mr. Tial Sai, who has his left hand amputated, fled forced labour and portering imposed on the villagers by Burma’s ruthless military regime and arrived in search of refuge in Malaysia last month. But his hope faded away when he was denied for registration by UNHCR Refugee Assessment Officer.
A 40-year-old father of two was quoted as saying that he was only asked about his health and not given even a chance to explain why and how he got to Malaysia when he went to UNHCR Office, and that he was just given a piece of paper with a clinic address written on it and was told to go to ACTS clinic, a local charity run by the Catholic church.
Recently, a 23-year-old Chin refugee hung himself in his room using an electric wire due to depression reportedly in connection with facing difficulties in getting registered as a recognised refugee.
Some communities and individuals have criticised Kuala Lumpur-based UNHCR for registering only TB patients and pregnant women as refugees and for paying no attention to most of other asylum seekers including prisoners after being described ‘invulnerable.’
“We are not coming to Malaysia because we are sick, pregnant and TB-infected but because we are running away in search of safety from the harsh brutalities of the military regime,” said a Chin asylum seeker who has been waiting in line for years for registration.
Mr. Tial Sai of Mualkai village, Thantlang Township was captured and forced to porter by military soldiers on patrol around his village. He was even beaten up and put him in Thantlang police lock-up because he was unable to carry military equipment.
Chinland Guardian was unable to reach the UNHCR for comments.
Van Biak Thang
07 December, 2008