Responding to news that 26 Rohingya refugees previously feared drowned off the resort island of Langkawi, Malaysia, have been found alive on the island of Rebak Besar following a search yesterday, Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Amnesty International’s Malaysia Researcher said:
“While this story has had a happy ending, such potential tragedies could be avoided if Malaysian and Thai authorities allowed Rohingya refugees to disembark from boats instead of callously pushing them back out to sea.
“The situation of remaining Rohingya refugees still stranded at sea for months is desperate. ASEAN governments must immediately launch co-ordinated search and rescue missions for remaining survivors; allow all boats carrying refugees and migrants to land safely in the nearest country; and meet their humanitarian needs. Unless this happens, more lives will inevitably be lost.”