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Malaysia Transgender “Nur Sajat” Applies for UNHCR Protection

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Malaysia Transgender "Nur Sajat" Applies for UNHCR Protection

Thailand’s Immigration police have refused to confirm media reports that Malaysia transgender cosmetics entrepreneur Nur Sajat, who is wanted by authorities in her home country, is seeking political asylum.

Nur Sajat, 36, was arrested on September 8 by officials from the Immigration police, along with a man and a woman, in a condominium in the Yannawa district of Bangkok.

Police allegedly received a tip from the Malaysian authorities, they were charged with immigration-related crimes, including illegal entry. Nur Sajat was released on bail of approximately 66,000 baht.

Immigration police instructed her to report to an immigration office every two weeks.

Since her arrest, a source said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had received a request from Nur Sajat for refugee status.

The source said that an immigration check revealed that Nur Sajat’s passport had been cancelled by the Malaysian government. She then applied to UNHCR for refugee status and is seeking political asylum in Australia.

The UNHCR source said the agency is now looking to secure approval from the Australian home office for her to be resettled there.

The cosmetics entrepreneur is formally known as Muhammad Sajjad Kamaruz Zaman in Malaysia, claims she cannot return to her home country because she received death threats after announcing she would leave the Muslim religion and that she’s transgender.

Malaysia’s Ministry of Islamic Development (JAKIM), which promotes the application of state laws punishing trans-Muslims with prison terms and mandatory “counselling” for not dressing according to the gender designation on their identity card. They believe transgenders and same-sex relationships, violate Islamic rules and “desecrate Islam.

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