At least fifty human rights advocates in Thailand are petitioning for the government to keep celebrity transwoman Nur Sajat Kamaruzzaman in the country instead of sending her back to Malaysia, where she is being accused of crossdressing.
The online petition was set up yesterday by the Network of Activists and Human Rights for Gender Justice groups, urging the Thai government to let the 36-year-old cosmetics entrepreneur stay in Thailand while she waits for approval to seek asylum in Australia. Nur Sajat escaped to Thailand earlier this year while being hunted by Malaysia’s Islamic religious officers over an accusation she insulted Islam by wearing a pink dress and a floral headscarf while doing charity work at a local religious school.
“All human beings are born free and equal with dignity and rights… Nur Sajat, who identifies as a woman, should be allowed to live the life she deserves,” the Change.org page said.
The petition stressed that the Thai government must take into account the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, whose principle of “non-refoulement” states that a refugee should not be sent back to a country where they face serious threats to their life and freedom.
“The Thai government must confirm that they will not send Nur Sajat back to Malaysia… and protect her until she receives asylum,” the page added.
Nur Sajat is reportedly registered with UNHCR as a refugee after her passport was canceled by authorities. UNHCR could not confirm this when Coconuts contacted them this week, citing confidentiality.