March 28, 2023

Seven kids and 25 girls had been among the many foreigners who died in detention final 12 months, the minister says.

Human rights teams have urged Malaysia to analyze. situations at migrant detention facilities after the federal government mentioned 150 foreigners, together with seven childrendied on the amenities final 12 months.

In a written reply this week to a query in parliament, Malaysia’s House Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail mentioned seven kids and 25 girls had been amongst those that died in detention final 12 months.

He didn’t disclose the reason for deaths or the variety of foreigners held in detention. Final July, Malaysia mentioned there have been 17,703 foreigners in its detention amenities.

“The truth that so many foreigners, together with kids, die in immigration custody is a scathing indictment of Malaysia’s failure to deal with these they’re holding as human beings who’ve rights,” mentioned Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

Amnesty Worldwide referred to as on the federal government to take motion to forestall folks’s loss of life in detention.

“150 deaths in a single 12 months. Holistic, clear investigations now,” Amnesty wrote in a sequence of tweets on Wednesday.

“The findings have to be made public. Motion have to be pressing and complete. Cures have to be discovered, and justice realized for the households of those that died. The federal government should act now,” Amnesty wrote.

Based on activists and interviews with former detainees by Reuters information company, Malaysia’s detention facilities are crowded and unhygienic, and detainees have insufficient entry to meals, water and healthcare.

Malaysia routinely detains foreigners who’re with out legitimate permits, permitting them to stay within the nation, together with asylum seekers. The nation can also be dwelling to hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants and greater than 100,000 Rohingya refugees.

Undocumented foreigners are sometimes detained for lengthy durations as they await deportation, whereas refugees and asylum seekers who don’t wish to return dwelling are held indefinitely.

Malaysia doesn’t acknowledge refugees and offers few rights to these given safety by the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The UNHCR has been denied entry to detention facilities since August 2019, hampering efforts to launch and resettle asylum seekers, Reuters reported.

Malaysia’s dwelling ministry and immigration division, which runs the detention centres, didn’t reply to requests for remark from Reuters.

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