Health care, urgent need in Malaysian detention camps
by Ko Wild, Friday, 29 May 2009 20:50
Because of poor health care in the Juru Immigration detention camp, two Burmese nationals died on May 12 and 17 respectively. The ‘Network of Action for Migrant in Malaysia’ (NAMM) issued a statement based on the deaths.
The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia must probe the deaths and release the findings. They must also include their recommendations in the report for the betterment of health care and sanitation in all the detention camps,” Pranom Somwong, liaison and relation officer of NAMM told Mizzima.
At least 500 Burmese are being held in this camp. They are suffering from diseases transmitted by Leptospirosis found in animal waste. Thang Hoih Ping (21) and Sa La Hin (26) died of these diseases.
The ‘Global Joint Statement’ was released yesterday on this issue by 124 international organizations, most of them Burmese lobby groups.
In the joint statement, they demanded that the Malaysian government and those responsible for the deaths pay compensation to the families of the dead.
The statement also demanded that the government expose and take action against persons responsible for the deaths in accordance with criminal law and hand out due punishment to them.
Ms. Pranam Somwong, also spokesperson of the NAMM, said that they also sent official letters to the Public Health Department, Immigration Department and Home Department besides the Malaysian government to carry out improved work on sanitation and health care services in all the detention camps across the country.
Moreover, the militia-style armed group RELA has more powers than the police force in these immigration detention camps thanks to the government’s policy and resolutions. They have sweeping powers for arresting and searching any suspect at anyplace and at anytime. But they are not trained personnel, she said.
They have demanded a probe to find out whether RELA is involved in these deaths or not, she added.
The joint statement of 124 international organizations released yesterday also demanded regular inspection and supervision of the quality of food and drinking water being provided in these camps.
There were 1,300 custodial deaths of illegal aliens in Malaysian detention camps in the last six years. Most of the cases occurred in Immigration detention camps, the 18 December 2008 issue of the Star daily paper reported quoting Datuk Nl. Siva Subramaniam, Chief of Human Rights Commission of Malaysia.
Source: Mizzima Website