Rohingya report launch in Kuala Lumpur - Fri 17 Oct

On Friday 17 October 2014, the Equal Rights Trust and the Institute for Human Rights and Peace Studies Mahidol University (IHRP) will launch two major new reports on the human rights of stateless Rohingya in Malaysia and Thailand.

In addition to analysing the discrimination and inequality faced by the Rohingya and recommending steps to combat it, the reports, Equal Only in Name, reveal less well known patterns of discrimination against one of the most excluded, persecuted and vulnerable communities in the world.

Myanmar’s recently exposed Rakhine State Action Plan would require all Rohingya to identify as “Bengali” and confine those who refuse to do so to camps. If implemented, this would be the latest in a long series of state-sponsored actions through which the Rohingya have been systematically and arbitrarily disenfranchised, discriminated against, excluded and persecuted.

Despite these ongoing violations, the reports critique the failure of both Malaysia and Thailand to protect the Rohingya as stateless refugees fleeing persecution in Myanmar. The lack of effective refugee and statelessness protection frameworks in each country has resulted in the Rohingya being treated as irregular migrants.

Without a legal status the Rohingya continue to face acute discrimination and human rights violations, including the rights to liberty and freedom of movement, as well as the right to work. Fear of police harassment, arrest, detention and deportation also affect their daily lives.  Without access to public schools and healthcare, there is also significant concern among the settled Rohingya communities that their children have no future.

To find out more, RSVP to attend the launch. Embargoed copies of the report are also available, as well as interviews in London or Kuala Lumpur.

Details of the launch:

When: Friday 17 October 2014 at 15:30 local Kuala Lumpur time 

Where: Raha Aziz Addruse Auditorium, Straights Trading Building, Unit 2-01A, 2nd floor, No. 2 Leboh Pasar Besar, 50050 Kuala Lumpur

Who: Dr Dimitrina Petrova, Executive Director, Equal Rights Trust; Dato’ M Ramachelvam, Malaysia Bar Council; Sripapha Petcharmesree  (IHRP); and Datuk Seri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Malaysian Representative to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR).

Attendance and coverage:

To attend the launch, arrange interviews in London or Kuala Lumpur, or for a copy of the report embargoed until 17:01 local time Kuala Lumpur/ 00:01 GMT 18 October 2014, contact:

Sarah Pickering, Head of Communications, Equal Rights Trust, Mobile: +44 (0) 7823 443 595, / Amal de Chickera, Senior Consultant on Statelessness, Equal Rights Trust,