ASEAN: ICJ condemns Indonesian and Malaysian push-backs at sea

The ICJ today condemned the decisions of the governments of Indonesia and Malaysia to turn away and push back boats carrying hundreds of Bangladeshis and Rohingyas, including women and children, out to sea. 

The ICJ emphasized that the increase in the number of Rohingya arrivals in Indonesia and Malaysia underscores the need to address the root causes that drive these people to set off on these perilous journeys, including the longstanding human rights abuses to which Rohingyas are subjected.

The decision by the two governments to return the boats to sea came after the arrival of about 2,000 people, mostly believed to be Rohingya and Bangladeshi nationals, onto the shores of Malaysia and Indonesia earlier this week.

“This should be a wake-up call to ASEAN that human rights is not an internal affair of one Member State,” said Sam Zarifi, ICJ’s Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific.

“Had there been action on the part of ASEAN early on to protect the rights of Rohingyas in Myanmar, this looming humanitarian crisis would not have happened,” he added.

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