Indonesian Citizen Allegedly Abused to Death at Malaysian Immigration Jail

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Non Koresponden

Editor

Laila Afifa

26 June 2022 00:09 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The fact-finding team consisting of a number of non-governmental organizations found that many Indonesian citizens detained at the Immigration Detention Center in Sabah, Malaysia were treated inhumanely. A case of an Indonesian citizen who was allegedly beaten to death has been revealed recently.

A fact-finding team member, Abu Mufakhir, said that the Indonesian citizen who died in Malaysia was Suardi Bin Samsudin. “He was an inmate at Block 7 of Tawau Immigration Depot,” said Abu in an online discussion on Saturday, June 25.

He said that Suardi was declared to be dead in the hospital on January 7, 2021. In the letter of receipt of the corpse, Abu went on, there was no explanation on the cause of the death. Abu said in the letter a statement was written: "With that, I will not prosecute for any action in the future," said Abu.

According to Abu, who is from Sovereign Migrant Workers Coalition, the statement was odd. But what's odder was that Suardi signed the receipt for his own body. It was only in the second letter that the name of the remains was changed to Jumala bin Sabang. Jumala was reportedly a relative of Suardi. "But he wasn't [Suardi's relative], he (Jumala) was one of the foremen at a palm plantation where Suardi worked," Abu explained.

The fact-finding team then traced the cause of Suardi's death. Based on the interview with the former fellow inmates, Suardi was found to have been abused by the officers of the Tawau Immigration Detention Center. “He was beaten by jail officers in front of other inmates,” Abu said.

According to the interview, Abu said that Suardi did try to escape from the jail. After he was caught, the officers allegedly beat Suardi with their bare hands, stones, and an iron pipe to his chest and head. After that, Abu went on, Suardi was immediately put back in an isolation cell with his hands still in handcuffs.

Suardi was brought to the hospital after his chest was swollen. “Some of the people we interviewed believe that Suardi had died since he was in the isolation cell,” said Abu.

The fact-finding team found that Suardi was not the only victim who died during their sentence in a number of immigration detention centers in Sabah, Malaysia. Indonesian citizens who were detained for violating immigration regulations allegedly live in inappropriate conditions and have no access to healthcare facilities. The team found that from 2021 until June 2022, some 149 Indonesian citizens died in a number of detention centers in Sabah, Malaysia.

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