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​SUHAKAM calls for inquests following deaths at immigration detention centres

Graphic: Cell door in detention centre

The recommendation was made following an unannounced visit to the Juru Immigration Detention Centre in Penang.

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) has recommended that inquests be carried out following all deaths at immigration detention centres.

The recommendation was made following an unannounced visit to the Juru Immigration Detention Centre in Penang, made with a team from the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission, to inquire into allegations of physical abuse that had purportedly resulted in the deaths of five Cambodian and two Vietnamese detainees this year.

SUHAKAM said in a statement that, during the visit, Immigration officials had dismissed the allegations as "unsubstantiated" and stated that only one detainee had passed away at the detention centre 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," the statement said.

SUHAKAM added that Immigration officials had "indicated that no post mortem was carried out on the deceased as the coroner was of the view that 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."

Date: 3 September 2016

Source: Human Rights Commission of Malaysia


Image credits

  1. Cell door in detention centre - APF/Michael Power