Sunday, January 26, 2014

Migrant workers abused and tortured during crackdown in Malaysia? So claims the Philippines government?

The crackdown on allegedly 'illegal'(a better word is undocumented, as no human being is illegal) has started in Malaysia... and the RELA is involved again. Now the RELA, a volunteer corp, unlike the police and immigration personnel do not have the required training when it comes to arrest and detention, and most like abuses may happen...Rape is also possible, as did allegedly happen to an Indonesian woman as reported in Malay Mail on December 2013 [The report is below]

Some 10,000 enforcement personnel from the Immigration Department, Royal Malaysia Police and People's Volunteer Corps (Rela) took part in the nationwide exercise which started just after midnight after the three-month special programme officially ended yesterday.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said it was time for the government to act against errant employers who did not take the opportunity to register illegal immigrants under their tutelage seriously. - Malaysia Chronicle, 21/1/2014, CRACKDOWN on illegal immigrants begins

The Philippine government is alleging that legitimate workers are also being detained, and that too is most likely because any migrant without the proper documents are being arrested and detained. In law, the proper document would the original passport and the employment visa/pass  - and still many employers/agents/third parties hold on to these original documents like a 'dog lease' allegedly to prevent their migrant workers from running away. This is wrong in law as the passport and the visa/pass is personal to the worker. I am of the opinion that a migrant worker who gets arrested and detained just because the employer holds on to the passport should SUE such employers in court for damages for the loss of liberty, humiliation and suffering. Maybe, the Philippines government may assist one of its OFWs to do this... 

Detained in cramped unhygienic conditions - well, just take a look at even police lock-ups in Malaysia. The toilet is in the cell as well, and you have to do 'your business' shamelessly in front of your cellmates. In a crackdown like this, detention facilities will even be more cramped.

SUHAKAM(Malaysian Human Rights Commission) must immediately investigate these allegations.

See also earlier post:- 

If you deport migrants hurriedly, how can there be investigation, prosecution and conviction of those that bring in undocumented migrants?


Manila: Filipinos abused, tortured in crackdown

January 24, 2014 
The Philippines government claims that even legitimate workers are being rounded up and some being abused. 

MANILA: Even legitimate overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Malaysia were not spared in the ongoing crackdown on illegal immigrants as tales of abuse and torture continue to be ignored by envoys there.

Because of this, Malacañang on Thursday directed the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to immediately mobilize its consular office in Malaysia to check on the reports.

“There is priority attention being given [to those reports] to find out the particular cases of undue and unjust harassment or harm [against Filipinos],” said Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr, reported Manila Times today.

He said Filipino officials in Malaysia will be asked to act on the reports.

The Manila Times reported Coloma as saying that he will personally call up Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Ed Malaya to know the condition of those who were affected by the crackdown.

“Specific [complaints] should require clarification,” he added.

Reports reaching Malacañang indicated that a group of legitimate OFWs was jailed along with undocumented ones in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. There, the Filipinos, including one architect who has been working legally in the country, were crammed in a small jail cell.

“They were treated like sardines and one could sleep only while standing or hardly sitting down,” said DZRH reporter Florante Rosales, whose brother was among those rounded up by Malaysian police.

Rosales said his younger brother, who was able to sneak in a cellular phone inside the facility, claimed that they were beaten up and made to confess on violations they did not commit.

“The DFA reacts very slowly. Our relatives are there legally and yet they were abused, counted among those undocumented,” Rosales told the Manila Times.

According to his brother, Rosales said the consul of Malaysia should be investigated and that President Benigno Aquino himself should crack the whip on embassy officials who have been remiss in their duties.

“They give no support to jailed Filipinos. Many are sick. Women are being raped by Malaysian guards,” he quoted his younger brother as saying.

Coloma vowed “prompt action from the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.”

“I am sure that it will be given priority attention by our ambassador,” he said.- Free Malaysia Today, 24/1/2014, Manila: Filipinos abused, tortured in crackdown

Cop detained over alleged rape of foreigner

December 13, 2013

The policeman, in his mid-20s, was arrested the same day. He had been with the force for seven years and is married with two children.  – AFP pic 
The policeman, in his mid-20s, was arrested the same day. He had been with the force for seven years and is married with two children. – AFP pic 

PETALING JAYA, Dec 13 — A policeman was arrested after an Indonesian worker alleged that she was raped by him at a budget hotel in Kajang on Tuesday night.

The lance corporal was said to have to have detained the woman, in her late 20s, during a raid at her house in Bandar Baru Bangi.

Her husband and their housemate were released after they produced identification papers but the woman failed to do so.

The policeman then arrested her and took her to a nearby police station.

There the woman claimed the policeman tried to solicit sex from her by threatening to put her in a lock-up if she did not give in to his demands.

In fear, the woman relented and was taken to a budget hotel where she claimed she was raped.

She lodged a police report at a different district police headquarters on Wednesday.

The policeman, in his mid-20s, was arrested the same day. He had been with the force for seven years and is married with two children.

Police are checking if he had any disciplinary problems.

Kajang police chief ACP Ab Rashid Ab Wahab said police were investigating the allegation made by the woman and refused further comment.- Malay Mail, 13/12/2013, Cop detained over alleged rape of foreigner

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