Crackdown against undocumented migrants in Malaysia

Source: Asian Tribune

Lawmakers from across the ASEAN region expressed concerns today over the Malaysian government’s ongoing crackdown against undocumented migrants in the country, which began on 1 July and has already resulted in thousands detained in facilities notorious for their poor conditions. APHR Board Member Mu Sochua – a member of the Cambodian National Assembly.

ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), a collective of regional lawmakers, urged the Malaysian government to prioritize the protection of human rights and ensure the fair treatment of all workers, many of whom end up undocumented through no fault of their own.  Read more

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

Tight budgets to blame for poor medical care of detainees?

Source: FMT News

Razali Ismail of Suhakam says Immigration Department detainees are entitled to the same level of medical care as others in the community. Pic from FMT News.

Razali Ismail of Suhakam says Immigration Department detainees are entitled to the same level of medical care as others in the community. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) is concerned that the Immigration Department is facing limitations in budget and resources in its attempt to meet international standards for the healthcare of detainees.

Its chairman Razali Ismail said the department, which held a discussion with the commission last week, was coping with heavy constraints.

“Under international standards, detainees are entitled to the same level of medical care as individuals in the community at large but Suhakam notes that the Immigration Department is coping with severe budget and resource constraints,” he said in a statement.

He said the department had informed Suhakam of this issue during a discussion of major detention reforms, including improved medical care.

Razali was responding to a report by Reuters on March 30 that revealed more than one hundred foreigners had died in the past two years in Malaysia’s immigration detention centres based on documents by Suhakam. 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

Rape at detention centre: Malacca CM wants thorough probe

Source: FMT News

Idris Haron says no stone must be left unturned as doubts raised over details in Thai woman's claim of being raped by an immigration department officer. Pic from FMT News.

Idris Haron says no stone must be left unturned as doubts raised over details in Thai woman’s claim of being raped by an immigration department officer. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Malacca Chief Minister Idris Haron says a comprehensive probe must be carried out as questions emerge over a Thai masseuse’s claim that she was raped at the Machap Umboo detention centre in the state.

According to media reports, the 32-year-old woman told her younger sister that she had been raped by an immigration department officer after being detained following a raid on a massage centre on March 7.

However, The Star said today that doubts were surfacing as her 28-year-old sister only lodged a police report on March 21. This was despite the incident allegedly occurring on March 9.

According to the report, investigators are now looking into every possibility.

“A comprehensive probe must be carried out and the proper action must be taken if there has been any wrongdoing,” Idris was quoted as saying. Read more

US report raps overcrowded prisons and re-arrest of suspects

Source: FMT News

It says prisoners have been physically hurt, and notes some 700 deaths in the last four years. Pic from FMT News.

It says prisoners have been physically hurt, and notes some 700 deaths in the last four years. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Washington’s annual human rights report has hit out at harsh conditions in Malaysia’s prisons and immigration detention centres, saying more than 700 detainees had died since 2013.

The US State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016 noted the overcrowded conditions of Malaysia’s prisons and detention centres especially in major cities, while criticising the procedures and treatment of detainees in general.

The report quoted government statistics that up to April last year, 721 prisoners had died, an average of 18 deaths per month.

But it said there were no official numbers on deaths at immigration detention centres.

The report, by the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, said prisoners were often caned, and NGOs and media were not permitted to monitor prison conditions. Read more

The imprisonment of non-citizens — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

MALAYSIA’S several immigration detention centres are full of non-citizens. They have been detained for a variety of reasons: some allegedly for entering the country without proper documents; others for remaining in the country using false documents.

Many of those detained have been rounded up in raids. When they were unable to produce the correct documentation they were arrested. Some were arrested in their homes, others at the airport while trying to leave. Still others were arrested at their workplace, on the street or when they were trying to report mistreatment by employers and agents to the authorities.

Yet others are detained if there is some report by unidentified informers that the person is suspected of seeking to overthrow some other government in some other land.

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