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Malaysian police seek gay man deported from Canada

Failed refugee claimant in hiding, fears jail

LAST RESORT. Quebec NDP MP Thomas Mulcair made a last minute attempt Mar 5 to stop the deportation of gay refugee Kulenthiran Amirthalingam. Credit: Marcus McCann

A gay Malaysian man recently deported from Canada is now being sought by police in his home country.

Kulenthiran Amirthalingam was deported Mar 6, after immigration minister Diane Finley refused to intervene in his case.

Living in Canada since 2003, he failed to convince immigration officials that he is gay and in danger of persecution in Malaysia. He says he was jailed and beaten in 2002 because of his sexuality.

Now Malaysian police say they want to question him about those claims of abuse, and they claim to be unaware that he was ever arrested.

“What was his offence?” says Musa Hassan, the country’s inspector-general of police, according to the Malay Mail. “If he did not commit any, how could the police arrest him?”

Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia. Gay sex — even oral sex — can be punished with 20-year sentences and physical punishment.

Amirthalingam is reportedly in hiding since returning to Malaysia. At a Mar 5 press conference in Ottawa, he said he feared imprisonment if forced back to his country of birth.