Dozens of Chin refugees arrested in Malaysia
01 September 2013: In a major ‘planned’ crackdown on illegal immigrants, Malaysian authorities have arrested over 130 Chin refugees in Malaysia.
The Malaysian authorities raided homes and buildings in Miharja area of Kuala Lumpur, arresting about 100 Dai Chin Christian worshippers today.
One of the Dai community members told Chinland Guardian: “About 30 Malaysian personnel in uniforms went into the room where our people were worshipping. All of them including our pastor and leaders were taken in two trucks.”
He said some mothers with babies and children were allowed to remain in the house-based church after community leaders talked to the authorities.
“It happened around 11am this morning. I was just about to join the congregation when the raid occurred,” added the Chin eyewitness.
The arrestees said they were threatened when the authorities demanded documents from them.
Speaking from the Bukit Jalil immigration camp in Kuala Lumpur, a Chin detainee told Chinland Guardian over 1,000 people including about 100 Chin refugees are being checked against their documents.
“People who don’t have any documents are being treated differently. They are threatened and shouted at by the officers,” added the detainee, who asks not to be named.
Malaysian authorities carry out a series of crackdowns on ‘undocumented’ immigrants, targetting Chin Christians who are arrested while on their way to church or after church services.
Community-based CRC (Chin Refugee Committee) said about 30 Chin refugees have been arrested according to their record.
“It is quite normal now that Chin Christians are arrested on Sundays after or before church services,” said a CRC member.
Malaysian authorities announced earlier it would conduct a three-month nationwide operation on illegal immigrants starting from 1 September 2013, deploying some 135,000 personnel from the Immigration Department, Police, Armed Forces, RELA, Civil Defence, and National Registration Department.
The ‘planned’ raids would take place mainly in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang and Johor as well as Cameron Highlands, according to the Malaysian authorities.
71 illegal immigrants, including 60 men and 11 women, from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Burma and Nepal, were arrested in Bukit Raja, Klang and Dengkil, according to The Star news today.
Saravana Kumar, Immigration Department Deputy Director, said those arrested would face immediate deportation after necessary investigation.
The operation, which will run until the end of 2013, targets to nab around 400,000 illegal immigrants across Malaysia, according to Saravana.
It is reported that about 50 Chin refugees, mainly from Dai community, who possess UN refugee registration card, have been released.#