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Rakhine workers, set for release from Malaysia prison, want to contact families

Narinjara News,  3 March 2023

Four Rakhine workers, who were arrested and imprisoned in Malaysia for entering the country illegally, are about to be released soon. Now they want to contact their families in Myanmar before their return, said a Rakhine social worker in Malaysia.

Those who will released include Ko Than Aung (son of U Shwe Oo) from Thay Gone village and Ko Kyaw Tin Soe (son of U Kyaw Maung) from Nga Gok Taek village under Sittwe township, Ko Maung Wana (son of U Tun Hla)  from Sapar Sike village under Ponna Kyung township and Ko Mea Thee Aung (son of U Maung U Kyaw) from Shwe Pye village under Kyauk Taw township.

They will be released from the prison during the second week of March and they now want to communicate with their families, said Ko Khain Min, who is helping Rakhine workers in Malaysia.

While talking to Narinjara News, he added that they are about to be released, even though dates have not been revealed. According to the prison authorities they would be released next week and hence they need to contact with their families in Myanmar.

They all were arrested and imprisoned between November and December 2022 as they travelled to Malaysia without valid documents, and they were imprisoned for 3 to 6 months.

 "They were arrested by the Malaysian police from their dormitories. They lived under poverty and some are still in poor health. To ensure their easy return, the Rakhine workers want to communicate with their families,” he added.

There may be 700  Rakhine workers in Malaysia, who are imprisoned, for allegedly entering the country for jobs where they have been supported by the Arakan refugees assistance group.

Even though Rakhine State is rich in natural resources, its successive governments have failed to benefit the common Arakanese people. The federal government has not created employment opportunities in the region and hence many Rakhine individuals prefer to go abroad for work
and a better life to their families.

A large number of people, who are arrested in the neighboring countries for travelling without necessary documents, often face physical harassment from the brokers and human traffickers and some of them have even died while travelling to Malaysia.

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