KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said today that Rohingya refugees must respect and adhere to local laws, in return for the country’s compassion and hospitality.
The commission also insisted that violent protesters lose any protection afforded to them under the right to peaceful assembly and the police shall act against them, after a street protest on Wednesday that saw several protesters arrested.
Despite that, the commission said it still believes that everybody has the right of peaceful assembly on the basis of Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that is also guaranteed in Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.
“This right is constitutionally guaranteed for Malaysians in Article 10 of the Federal Constitution,” the commission said in a statement.
“However violent protesters lose their protection under the right to peaceful assembly, and the police shall act against those breaking the law.”
“The instincts of compassion and hospitality of Malaysia to provide refuge to Rohingya refugees who have suffered violence, hardship, threats to life and displacement must also mean that refugees in Malaysia respect and adhere to the laws of Malaysia,” it added.
The commission also said that Malaysia is obliged to protect the premises of diplomatic missions from intrusion or damage or impairment of its dignity.
The protest by Rohingyas was against the Myanmar embassy, over the mistreatment of the ethnic group back home.
This comes as its chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail was quoted saying that the Rohingyas “shouldn’t have stretched” the sympathy they have by holding a street demonstration, which reportedly turned violent.
He said instead the protesters should have used the proper channel in “an orderly fashion”.
More than a thousand Rohingyas descended on the streets of Kuala Lumpur on Thursday to join a planned protest by Muslim NGOs outside the Myanmar embassy here, to call for an end to the bloodshed in Rakhine.
However, the protesters were stopped from marching towards the embassy by the police, prompting them to take to the streets instead.