Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Death threats, hate speech turn Rohingya activist's Malaysia home into a prison

WorldApr 05, 2021 09:26PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
5/5 © Reuters. Rohingya refugee and activist Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani cries during an interview with Reuters at his home in Kuala Lumpur 2/5

By Rozanna Latiff and Ebrahim Harris

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani, a Rohingya Muslim refugee and activist who fled persecution and ethnic strife in Myanmar, has called Malaysia home for nearly three decades.

Now, it's more like a prison.

Zafar, 51, has not left his home on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur for nearly a year, after misinformation spread online that he had demanded Malaysian citizenship, triggering a wave of hate speech and death threats against him and his family.

"I'm still scared. For a year, I've not set foot outside. I've not seen the earth outside," said the father of three.

Zafar has reported the false accusations and online attacks to the police, but to his knowledge, no charges have been filed. He has denied making any demand for citizenship or the same rights as citizens for Rohingya in Malaysia.

More than 100,000 Rohingya live in Muslim-majority Malaysia, long seen as friendly to the persecuted minority even though they are not officially recognised as refugees.

The welcoming sentiment soured a year ago as people started saying Rohingya were spreading the then surging coronavirus.

Hate speech calling for violence against Rohingya and other undocumented migrants spread widely online. A significant portion of the volume targeted Zafar, who heads a prominent Rohingya refugee rights organisation.

Zafar still receives abusive calls and messages on his phone and social media accounts daily, and details and photos of his family have been circulated online, according to screenshots shown to Reuters.

His Malaysian wife, Maslina Abu Hassan, said the attacks have taken a heavy toll. Their children no longer attend school due to safety concerns, and last year, Zafar was diagnosed with depression and began taking medication to cope, she said.

Zafar, who is registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), applied to be moved to another country but his request was rejected after the agency said he did not meet its criteria for resettlement.

A UNHCR spokeswoman in Kuala Lumpur said in an email the agency could not comment on individual cases. Resettlement decisions depend on various factors, she said, but ultimately lie with any potential host countries.

Zafar said he hopes the agency will reconsider his case because he no longer feels safe in Malaysia.

"I cannot relax my body, my brain, my heart. I cry asking why people are doing this to me."

Death threats, hate speech turn Rohingya activist's Malaysia home into a prison
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
Aidel Haikal Azmi
Aidel Haikal Azmi Apr 06, 2021 12:55AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
I think this story is misleading. The threats are basically minor and not as a whole. I trully dont even know who this guy is and suddenly he came out saying he is being persecuted. I dont know why these stories are out and one can guess that its out here to create chaos and divisive element in the community. Shame on you.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email