The Immigration Department had sent back more than 1000 Myanmar nationals yesterday despite a court order barring it from doing so. (AP pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has issued a new interim order barring the Malaysian government from deporting any more Myanmar migrants back to their homeland. It will also decide on March 9 whether to allow two human rights groups to challenge the government’s move yesterday to send over 1,000 Myanmar nationals back to Yangon.

Judge Mariana Yahya heard arguments from the Attorney-General’s Chambers, appearing for the Immigration Department and government, and the groups’ lead counsel Ambiga Sreenevasan during an online hearing today.

The interim order barring any fresh deportation and any deportation of those remaining is valid, and is valid until March 9, too, co-counsel New Sin Yew said.

The Immigration Department repatriated over 1,000 Myanmar nationals via three Myanmar navy ships from the Lumut naval base in Perak yesterday, despite an earlier court order barring them from doing so.

Human rights groups criticised the government’s action, saying that it was “outrageous and unacceptable”.

Asylum Access Global and Amnesty International Malaysia filed a challenge on Monday to quash the government’s decision to send back 20 Myanmar nationals to their country.
This involved three Myanmar nationals who possessed UNHCR cards, and 17 children.

Subsequently, the two groups also wanted the court to revoke the government’s decision to send back the 1,086 Myanmar nationals to Yangon.

The rights groups claimed the decision to deport UNHCR card holders back to Myanmar would endanger their lives.

“It is also against Malaysia’s obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child treaty. These children would be separated from their parents here,” the groups said.

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