UN experts on May 21 urged the Malaysia government to stop the ongoing crackdown on migrants, journalists and civil society amid the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and strongly oppose xenophobia and hate speech against migrants.
“I am alarmed by what is happening in Malaysia after the initially positive attitude of the government towards an inclusive response to the pandemic,” said Felipe González Morales, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants.“The current crackdown and hate campaign are severely undermining the effort to fight the pandemic in the country,” he said. “We urge the Malaysian authorities to refrain from raiding locked-down areas to arrest and detain migrants.”
González Morales said that three raids starting from 1 May, as well as the threat of future raids, have spread fear among migrant communities.
“In such a situation, migrants might not come forward anymore for testing or access health services even when showing symptoms of the coronavirus,” he said.