Caning of refugees in Malaysia sparks protest
KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia has caned dozens of refugees as illegal immigrants, a refugee group said, sparking criticisms by rights organisations that the government is torturing people it should protect.
Malaysia arrested up to 300 of Myanmar's Rohingya refugees at the weekend for alleged immigration offences, raising fears they too could face caning, a top leader of the refugees told Reuters.
"We no longer find Malaysia a safe haven," said Zafar Ahmad, president of the Myanmar Ethnic Rohingyas Human Rights Organisation Malaysia. "At least 80 Rohingyas have been caned previously."
Image: A man canes a dummy as part of a demonstration
Malaysia is home to 2.7 million foreign workers, including 700,000 working illegally. The government's practice of caning criminals is under intense scrutiny after a video of a prison-yard caning session was posted on the Internet.
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