A Myanmae refugee activist, Thuzar Maung, and her family were allegedly abducted on July 4 (Tuesday) from their residence in Ampang Jaya, Kuala Lumpur.
Based on a report by human rights group, Human Rights Watch, witnesses and CCTV footage showed unidentified men kidnapping the 46-year-old outspoken supporter of Myanmar’s pro-democracy movement, her 43-year-old husband and their 3 children, aged between 16 and 21.
Human Rights Watch has since called for the Malaysian government to prioritise a thorough and transparent investigation into the abduction.
“We fear that Thuzar Maung and her family were abducted in a planned operation and are at grave risk. The Malaysian government should urgently act to locate the family and ensure their safety,” shared Elaine Pearson, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
On the day of the abduction, a car entered the gated community where Maung and her family lived at around 4:30pm. The driver of the car allegedly told the security guards that they were police officers.
2 hours later, while Muang was on the phone with a friend, the friend suddenly heard her scream to her husband that unknown men were entering their house. The call was then disconnected.
At about 7:10pm, the same vehicle as well as 2 cars owned by Maung’s family were seen leaving the compound. The family’s phones were switched off.
CCTV footage at the guard house captured the license plate of the unknown vehicle, to which the Malaysian authorities identified as fake. The video also captured a black-gloved hand of the driver of one of Maung’s cars, holding out the gate card to exit the compound.
Vehicle logs show that the same car had entered the gated community on June 19 (Monday). Maung’s colleagues who entered the house on July 5 (Wednesday) said that there were no signs of robbery.
Maung and her family had fled Myanmar for Malaysia in 2015 to escape the growing violence against Muslims. The whole family have since been recognised as refugees under the United Nations Refugee Agency in Malaysia.
“Foreign governments should press the Malaysian authorities to quickly uncover the location of this family. Myanmar activists are apparently at risk even when they criticise the military junta from a country where they have sought asylum,” Pearson added.
We genuinely hope that Thuzar Maung and her family are quickly found and brought to safety.