A Malaysian court on Tuesday has given a temporary reprieve for 1,200 Myanmar nationals who were earlier ordered to be deported from the country.
According to a report by Al Jazeera, the group, which includes at least six people the UN refugee agency has determined to need its protection, were due to be taken back to Myanmar by the country's navy, which has three ships on standby in Lumut, a naval base on Malaysia's west coast.
On Monday, Amnesty International and Asylum Access had filed a judicial review urging a stay in the earlier order as the group's lives would be at risk and more than a dozen of the people to be deported were children having at least one parent in Malaysia.
They further said that sending the group back to Myanmar amid the junta rule was "a cruel act that violates the international principle of non-refoulement".
"As the world condemns the political violence in Myanmar, we are appalled to note that the Malaysian government has instead chosen to send 1,200 individuals to a rapidly deteriorating situation," Amnesty and Asylum Access said.
On Tuesday, the Kuala Lumpur High Court granted an interim stay barring their removal until 10 am (02:00 GMT) on Wednesday, Al Jazeera reported.
Lauding the court's order, Amnesty International Malaysia's executive director Katrina Jorene Maliamauv said, "The government must respect the court order and ensure not one of the 1,200 individuals is deported today".
Tham Hui Ying, the executive director of Asylum Access, said returning the children would breach Malaysia's commitments under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and its own Child Act that "clearly states the government's responsibility to protect children", Al Jazeera said.
On February 1, Myanmar's military overthrew the government and declared a year-long state of emergency hours before the newly-elected parliament was due to convene. State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, along with other top officials accused of election fraud, have been placed under house arrest. The coup triggered mass protests across the country.
( With inputs from ANI )
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