Last week, authorities in Malaysia announced that they arrested five immigration officers for rounding up illegal immigrants from Myanmar and selling them to human traffickers.
Karen Zusman, an independent journalist, recently returned from Malaysia, where she reported on the plight of Burmese refugees.
In Malaysia refuses to recognize Burmese as refugees, she recounted the story of “Jack” — a Burmese refugee in Malaysia whose girlfriend, brother and friend had been rounded up by immigration officials and put in detention camps.
In this audio interview, she catches up with Jack about recent developments in Malaysia. His girlfriend has been deported to Myanmar to marry a soldier, his brother remains in a detention camp and his friend “John” has been released, but faces an uncertain future.
Jack yearns for a brighter future, but has himself lost his job. Though he has a UNHCR refugee card, he still fears the police and has nowhere to turn. Above, listen to Karen Zusman’s interview, edited by Katie Combs.
– Watch Burmese refugees rounded up and sold in Malaysia
– Listen to Malaysia refuses to recognize Burmese as refugees
– Read Karen Zusman’s blog post, A Burmese family’s story of multiple arrests, weekly bribes
– Find more information on the Please Don’t Say My Name website