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HomeOther CountriesMalaysiaRights group slams home minister Saifuddin over abuse claims at immigration depot...

Rights group slams home minister Saifuddin over abuse claims at immigration depot – MalaysiaNow

Lawyers for Liberty says the matter deserves an immediate and thorough investigation instead of 'outright dismissal' by the minister.
Rights group Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) today hit out at Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution over his response to claims of abuse at an immigration detention centre, saying such allegations are serious matters which warrant immediate and thorough investigation by the authorities. 
Saifuddin had said on Dec 9 that it was “unfair” to “overplay” the alleged ill treatment of detainees at the Kimanis detention centre, and to give “biased reports”.
“Their (declining) condition was not because they were detained at the depot. It happened before (they were detained) and we need to look at the facts,” he was reported as saying by the New Straits Times. 
LFL director Zaid Malek said it was unacceptable and contrary to good governance for the home minister to outright dismiss such serious complaints, calling Saifuddin’s remarks “one of the most specious and ridiculous responses ever advanced by a home minister in the face of custodial abuse”.
“LFL is dismayed that the government led by Pakatan Harapan, who have long heralded themselves as ‘reformists’, are now following in the footsteps of their abusive predecessors,” he said. 
“Allegations of abuse at detention centres are serious matters which warrant immediate and thorough inquiry or investigation by the government.”
In a statement, he said Article 5 of the Federal Constitution safeguards the life and liberty of any person in Malaysia – a right that extends to migrants detained in immigration depots.
“The treatment of migrants is an important matter that must be looked at seriously by the government as it could affect bilateral relations with other states which will have adverse effect to our economy, with several industries heavily reliant on migrant workers,” he said.  
“This is, of course apart from the brute and inhumane image our country gets when migrants are treated in this manner,” he added, citing Indonesia’s move in July to suspend the entrance of migrant workers to Malaysia over a breach in agreement aimed at improving the protection of domestic workers. 
Zaid also called for an immediate and independent inquiry into the allegations, the results of which he said should be presented to Parliament as well as the public. 
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