Recently Deported Gay Refugee Sought By Police
Troubling news from Malaysia, as Canada’s latest gay deportee is now being sought by police in his home country.
Amirthalingam Kulenthiran, who applied for Canadian refugee status in 2003, was deported three weeks ago because he failed to prove he was gay. His refugee claim was based on the fact that homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia, saying that police there had beaten him while in custody.
Now that Amirthalingam is back in Malaysia, police stations across the country have been ordered to stay on the lookout. Ismail Omar, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, said that the search measures are merely to investigate his claims of police brutality:
What was his offense? That’s just it, if he did not commit any, how could the police arrest him? We are sad that he had accused us just like that.
Homosexuality in Malaysia carries a prison sentence of 20 years, or caning. Just before he was deported from Canada, Amirthalingam filed an emergency pre-removal risk assessment, but was rejected.
I wish Amirthalingam the very best of luck. While it’s sad that gay Malaysians must stay closeted, hopefully this situation will help draw attention to the problem there.
- Malaysian police probe gay deportee [Asian Pacific Post]