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Opinion

COVID-19 is no excuse for rejecting Rohingya migrants

Asia must use the Bali Process to treat those fleeing on boats humanely

| Myanmar
A wooden boat carries suspected Rohingya migrants detained in Malaysian territorial waters off the island of Langkawi on Apr. 5: their ordeal has lasted months and shows no sign of ending.   © Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency/AP

Sam Klintworth is the Director of Amnesty International Australia. Usman Hamid is the Director of Amnesty International Indonesia.

In early June, there was a happy exception to a tragic rule. A boat carrying hundreds of Rohingya migrants approached Malaysia's shores. Unusually, it was not turned away. "Deportation was not conducted," the authorities explained, "as the boat was damaged." They added that a woman's dead body was found on board, and that 269 people were placed in detention.

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