Sunday, June 07, 2020

Detainees, infected by COVID-19, can sue government? Duty of care to ensure prisons free from disease and safe?

Will there soon be detainees suing our police, Immigration and the Government because they were infected by Covid-19 in some lock-up, prison and/or detention centers? Malaysia must ensure that all places of detention are clean and safe.  

There were no Covid-19 in Malaysian prisons and Immigration Detention Centres for a very long time since the start of the pandemic- and it was SAFE. So, now when covid-19 is detected in such detention facilities - WHOSE FAULT IS IT? 

Remember, that the Malaysian Government has the DUTY OF CARE to ensure all detention facilities are SAFE from disease and safe from death/injury.

Prisoners and detainees in Prison and Detention facilities surely stayed away from the 'outside' community. 

The RISK of Covid-19, the Malaysian government knows. What must be done to keep people safe from Covid, the government knows - and all of us knows what must be done during this MCO period distancing, control of movement, 'quarantine' for at least 14 days for those who return to Malaysia, self-quarantine if and when anyone you had close contact gets infected......

DETENTION PLACES - are totally under the control of the government, and as such all precautions can almost 100% be implemented - so the question is how did the government fail, when so many persons in detention are now being infected..

If the infection was brought into these detention facilities by the introduction of new detainees - then, the questions maybe is 'Were the new detainees 'quarantined' first?', Was 'social distancing' practiced by the arresting and detaining authorities?...

What was the 'source of infections'?, Were they infected before arrest and detention, or were they infected after arrest and detention? 

If infected before arrest, then the said detainee's chances of winning a legal suit against government may be slim....BUT if the infection happened after arrest, then the chances of winning a legal suit against the government is HIGH...

WILL THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH INVESTIGATE AND TRUTHFULLY DECLARE THE RESULT - How and when were they infected? [Or, will they not] The hope is that the Government and the Health Ministry will do a (1) Thorough investigation to determine source of infection(and then disclose this information to the affected detainee/s - and not try to protect the possible wrongdoer(in this case, the Government of Malaysia) by 'hiding' or suppressing the truth....

(2) The government must also educate these victims of their RIGHTS - including their right to claim damages/compensation from the person/s who failed to keep them safe from COVID-19 infections?  Do not keep people in dark about their rights in law and/or Human Rights. 

The undocumented migrants in Malaysian Immigration Centers who are now infected by Covid-19, a life threatening disease, and as such, they may be able to sue the Malaysian government for damages and compensation.

The government do have the legal duty and obligation to these detainees, whether in police lock-ups, prisons and other detention centres.

Even when people were being arrested, detained ...there was much concerned whether the preventive measures like 'social distancing' - where the DG of health repeatedly have been telling us to be at least 1 meter away from another person...But is this not being breached when the police arrest people...A recent picture of the people arrested during the frontliner union picket shows that this '1 meter' rule is not followed...
Five activists were charged at the Magistrate Court in Ipoh for defying the CMCO by gathering at HRPB, June 4, 2020. — Pictures by John Bunyan, Malay Mail

Picketing FRONTLINE workers arrested? Not given RM600 special allowance for Frontliners?

WILL Malaysia now compensate detainees that were infected by Covid-19?

Will we soon see Legal Suits being filed against the Immigration Department and the Government of Malaysia? 

Ismail Sabri: 385 Covid-19 cases detected in immigration detention centres

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that the first phase of the deportation process will begin on June 6,  — Bernama pic
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that the first phase of the deportation process will begin on June 6, — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 30  —  Authorities found 384 undocumented migrants (PATI) with Covid-19 at the immigration depots in Bukit Jalil, Semenyih and KLIA after testing 4,807 detainees, said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He told his daily security press conference that another 37 individuals are still waiting for their results while those found positive had been sent to MAEPS, Serdang for quarantine and treatment.

“From the total number that we screened, 385 individuals, including an immigration officer from the depot in Semenyih were found to be Covid-19 positive. Another 37 individuals are still awaiting their results. As I said before, those tested positive will be sent to MAEPS, Serdang for treatment.

“Out of those sent for treatment, 26 have been discharged and we will arrange for their deportation to their countries of origin,” said Ismail Sabri.

The defence minister added that the first phase of the deportation process will begin on June 6, involving 2,189 Indonesian nationals who are detained at depots in Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak. 

Another 672 illegal Indonesian migrants located in Sabah will be sent home as well.

The first group to be deported will involve 450 illegal migrants placed on three flights to Jakarta, Medan and Surabaya.

The second group will be sent off on June 10 with more flights to Jakarta, Medan and Surabaya involving 445 PATIs. The government will also utilise sea lanes where 1,294 migrants are scheduled to sail to Medan on June 22.

“Phase Two will involve 2,623 PATI to be sent home around two months from now. Currently, their travel documents are not complete and the Indonesian embassy is preparing it and we will gradually send them home two months from Phase One.

“Our Immigration Department and Wisma Putra are also discussing with the Nepalese and Bangladeshi embassies to send home 246 Nepalese nationals and 2,476 Bangladeshi nationals.

“We’ve also received news that the Cambodian embassy has also agreed to assist us in getting their people home. I request other related embassies to step up and help us in getting their citizens to their countries of origin,” said Ismail Sabri. - Malay Mail, 30/5/2020



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