On 22 August 2016, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), together with the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC), jointly conducted an unannounced visit to the Juru Immigration Detention Centre in Penang to inquire into the allegations of physical abuse by warders against detainees, which had purportedly resulted in the death of five Cambodian and two Vietnamese detainees earlier this year.
During the visit, Suhakam and the EAIC were informed by immigration officials that the allegations were unsubstantiated and that only one detainee of the Juru immigration detention centre had died 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 immigration Officials also 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, Suhakam recommends that an inquest including a post mortem examination be conducted following all deaths in detention to verify the cause of the death.
Suhakam expresses its appreciation to the commandant and officials of the Juru Immigration Detention Centre for the cooperation they had given to the commission during the visit and looks forward to working more closely with the immigration department on human rights issues of common concern.
3 September 2016