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May 26, 2011

ACTIVIST TO SPEAK ON FACT FINDING VISIT TO REFUGEE RIGHTS GROUPS IN MALAYSIA

by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

Refugee Action Coalition activist Mark Goudkamp has just returned from Malaysia where he made contact with the growing campaign in Malaysia against the Gillard government’s proposed “refugee swap” with Malaysia.

Mark will be speaking at a Refugee Action Coalition forum on Monday night, May 30, at 6pm at the NSW Teachers Federation Building, 23-33 Mary St Surry Hills.

Mark met with human rights, lawyers and civil liberties groups who are opposing the deal, which has drawn opposition from groups including the Malaysian Bar Council and human rights organisation Suaram.

He also visited Royhinga and Iranian refugees stranded in Malaysia, and talked to them about conditions for refugees in the country. On his way back he also visited refugees stuck in Indonesia.

On Wednesday 25 May, Malaysian time, local civil society groups submitted a joint memorandum to the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur protesting the refugee deal.

The memorandum noted that “Malaysia has no domestic act to protect the rights and security of refugees and asylum seekers as well as no legal recognition of their status.

“This creates significant barriers in their livelihood options in accessing their right to work, education and health. Furthermore, asylum seekers and refugees live in constant fear of the authorities, in particular, the police, Immigration authorities and the People’s Volunteer Corps”.

The deal, still to be finalised, would see 800 asylum seekers deported from Australia to a country that is notorious for abuses of refugees, and is not a signatory to the UN Convention on Refugees.

For more information contact Mark Goudkamp 0422 078 376 or Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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