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Malaysian human rights group says deportation of Turkish family ‘wrong and unjust’

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A Malaysian human rights group has said the deportation of Arif Komiş and his family to Turkey upon a request from Ankara, which claimed they were linked with the faith-based Gülen movement, was “wrong and unjust.”

“Malaysia should respect the principle of non-refoulement especially when it comes to asylum seekers and refugees in Malaysia, which means that Malaysia should not be arresting and sending back these persons to countries from where they have fled from prosecution,” Charles Hector, a human rights activist, said in a statement on behalf of the Malaysians Against Death Penalty & Torture (MADPET).

Malaysia on Aug. 29 deported the family to Turkey, which launched a crackdown against the Gülen movement followers after a 2016 failed coup.

Ankara accuses the movement of orchestrating the coup attempt, although it strongly denies any involvement.

The United Nations on June 12 accepted the Komiş family’s application as asylum-seekers.

“Unfortunately, Malaysia still have no written law that deals with refugees and asylum seekers, which would also define the rights of these persons seeking such refugee status,” the group said, “Malaysia has to speedily enact such a law.”

Arif Komiş was taken into police custody immediately after the plane landed at a Turkish airport, according to the Turkish media.

MADPET called on the Malaysian government to clarify its position towards asylum-seekers from UN in the country, since the Komiş family was not the only example.

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