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International relations

Malaysia sticks to deporting Myanmar detainees despite UN pressure

Kuala Lumpur insists no refugees involved as move spotlights immigration system

KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia remains committed to repatriating around 1,200 Myanmar nationals held in the country's immigration detention centers next Tuesday, despite strong protests from civil rights groups and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

While Myanmar is in turmoil over the recent military coup, a source in Malaysia's Immigration Department told Nikkei Asia the detainees will be sent back as scheduled, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to speak. An analyst, meanwhile, acknowledged Malaysia's concerns about illegal immigration but argued the controversy shows the need for better coordination with the U.N.

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