Malaysia Rights Panel Disturbed Over More Than 600 Deaths in Prisons and Detention Centers — A. Ananthalakshmi

Source: US News

A general view of Bukit Jalil immigration detention center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo from Lai Seng Sin for Reuters.

A general view of Bukit Jalil immigration detention center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo from Lai Seng Sin for Reuters.

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s national human rights panel on Tuesday said it was disturbed by more than 600 deaths at immigration detention centers and prisons over the last two years, and called for immediate reform.

In its 2016 annual report, the panel, known by its Malay acronym, Suhakam, said there were more than 100 deaths in immigration detention centers and 521 deaths in prisons in 2015 and 2016. Twelve people died in police lock-ups in 2015.

Last week, citing documents from Suhakam, Reuters reported that 118 foreigners, including undocumented workers, refugees and asylum seekers, had died at detention centers in the last two years. More than half the dead were from Myanmar.

Suhakam said deaths mostly stemmed from diseases in all prisons and detention centers, where the government should look to improve conditions and healthcare.

“There is little interest in the human rights of detainees,” said Chairman Razali Ismail. “This attitude is reflected in government budgetary priorities and the resources made available for the running and upkeep of all places of detention.”

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Suhakam: Reforms underway at immigration detention centres

Source: The Star Online

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail, pic from the Star Online.

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail, pic from the Star Online.

PETALING JAYA: Steps are being taken to remedy the situation at immigration detention centres which have seen more than 100 deaths over the past two years.

Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) said the Immigration Department had introduced major reforms at its detention centres.

“At a meeting last week, the Immigration Department informed us that the dilapidated centres are in the process of being rebuilt, standard operating procedures are being revised and healthcare improved.

“We also note that there are now medical assistants at every immigration depot,” said Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail (pic) on a statement Saturday.

However, due to severe budget and resource constraints faced by the Department and their focus on emergency healthcare, Razali recommended that the Health Ministry step in to improve the standard of healthcare in the centres. Read more

Suhakam: More than 100 die in Malaysian immigration detention camps in past two years

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Suhakam’s Jerald Joseph says the number of deaths is too many and is shocking and it calls for the overhaul of the system. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng for the MMO.

Suhakam’s Jerald Joseph says the number of deaths is too many and is shocking and it calls for the overhaul of the system. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng for the MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 ― More than one hundred foreigners died in the past two years in Malaysia’s immigration detention centres from various diseases and unknown causes, according to documents from the government-funded National Human Rights Commission reviewed by Reuters.

The toll, which has not been previously disclosed, is based on Malaysian immigration department data provided to the commission, which is known by its Malay acronym Suhakam. There were 83 deaths in 2015, and at least 35 in 2016 up to December 20.

It is unclear whether the death rate is higher than in neighbouring countries. Government officials in Indonesia and Thailand told Reuters they do not disclose such numbers. The rate is higher than in major industrialized nations such as the United States, which in the last financial year recorded 10 deaths in its immigration detention system, which has many more detainees than Malaysia’s.

More than half of the 118 dead are from Myanmar, the source for tens of thousands of refugees coming to Malaysia, including Rohingya Muslims escaping persecution by Myanmar’s authorities and its majority Buddhist population. The number of Rohingya fatalities in the camps is unknown. Read more

Suhakam: Hold inquests for all deaths at detention centres

Source: FMT

After allegations of abuse and deaths of seven detainees in Juru, human rights commission makes unannounced visit and says only one detainee died, a Cambodian woman who had a heart attack in May.

PETALING JAYA: The human rights commission, Suhakam, has called for inquests to be held into all deaths at immigration detention centres, after making an unannounced visit to Juru, where seven people were alleged to have died after physical abuse by warders.

Suhakam said members of the commission and the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission, jointly conducted an unannounced visit to the Juru centre after allegations of abuse purportedly causing the death of five Cambodian and two Vietnamese detainees this year.

In a statement today, Suhakam said Immigration officials had stated that the allegations were unsubstantiated.

“Only one detainee had died in 2016. According to the Immigration officials, the detainee, a Cambodian lady, who was being treated for heart disease at a hospital, had died from a heart attack in May 2016,” Suhakam said.

The commission noted that Immigration officials indicated that no post-mortem examination was carried out because the coroner believed there was no suspicion of foul play.

“In relation to this, the Commission recommends that an inquest including a post mortem examination be conducted following all deaths in detention to verify the cause of the death,” the statement said.