The eight-month manhunt for Malaysian cosmetics entrepreneur Nur Sajat Kamaruzzaman has come to a close.
The 36-year-old was detained by Thai immigration authorities at her condominium apartment on Sep. 8, according to Harian Metro, months after Malaysian authorities accusing her of cross-dressing at an Islamic school three years ago launched the manhunt. Sajat was reportedly charged for immigration-related offenses in Thailand and subsequently posted US$2,000 bail.
She has registered with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, or UNHCR, after her passport was “cancelled,” and was seeking asylum in Australia, the report said. She has been ordered to appear at the Thai immigration office every two weeks, it added.
Neither the UNHCR nor Australia’s Human Rights Commission responded to queries at publication time. Sajat’s personal social media accounts were not publicly available.
Maj. Gen. Achayon Krathong, spokesman of the Immigration Police in Thailand, seemed clueless about Sajat’s case when Coconuts called for comment today, saying that he has to check with his team about the reports.
Sajat reportedly told Thai authorities that she had been receiving death threats after announcing her intention to leave Islam. She also mentioned being hunted down by 122 officers from the Islamic religious authority in Selangor.
Malaysian authorities are working with the Thai government to extradite Sajat over charges she offended Islam by wearing a pink dress to a religious school in 2018, the local media outlet said. With international organizations now involved, the process might not be as straightforward.
Hundreds are rallying support for Sajat and praying for her safety since word of her arrest got out.
“May Sajat be safe wherever she goes,” Twitter user Justalhafiz said.
This article, Celebrity transwoman Nur Sajat seeking asylum in Australia after Bangkok arrest: report, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.