More than 100 deaths in custody in two years reported
There are a few cases of reported deaths in custody by online news media that will be interesting to highlight for public awareness.
These few cases mentioned here has to be viewed in the context of the more than 100 deaths in two years in Malaysia immigration custody that was reported.
We (me and other detainees) have witnessed one suspected death in custody during my detention in Pekan Nanas. He is an Indian national that was suspected to have died from rat urine poisoning.
It is because of this that I am drawn into researching and analyzing these deaths in custody to find any links between many of these deaths in custody.
Grieving families of deceased seeks closures
As for those past cases that are reported in the medias, it is natural that the families of these deceased migrant workers to be grief stricken. They are also justifiably angry at the authorities that failed them. Lastly it is important they can have closures
It is also understandably suspicious that their loved one who was strong and healthy could just died suddenly in custody and case closed. This is something most normal persons find it hard to believe.
Two videos of deaths in custody reported by major news
A report published 22-Aug 2015 (video link below) was about an interview with two Indian workers who returned to India after their detention. One of them spent three months in detention before being repatriated back to Chennai. In the interview, quote: “though he did not complained of physical abuse, he alleged that one of his co-worker was beaten to death.” Unquote
In another case reported on 4-Aug 2016 (video link below), information surrounding his death in Malaysia is so little. How could a young and healthy man died suddenly while in immigration detention? It was also reported that his case was linked to agent fraud. Obviously there are so many questions that this deceased family wants answers. The families want to know the truth about their loved one’s death and hold whoever is accountable to face justice. It is indeed a sad and tragic situation for this deceased family’s loved ones.
Deaths in custody Case Study #1
A report dated 5.02.2018 last year (screenshot below), Indian detainee dies of “heart attack” while being deported. click here
As there was a suspected death in custody during my detention in Pekan Nanas around this time, I decided to do a review and analyze this piece of news for discrepancies.
Summary of main points
- A Malaysian NGO was reported to be involved in this. This NGO is Malaysia Global Rescue Humanity (MGRH). MGRH provides very little information about itself. A check also revealed that there is little information available about MGRH.
- It was reported in this short news that this MGRH helped to identify a 42-year old Indian national who died at KL airport. It was not about MGRH helping the Indian national detainee.
- Date of deportation is 29.01.2018 = date of death but the NGO received information of death after Jan 29, i.e. the day of deportation.
- The report stated that this Indian national was being detained for 3 months, meaning that deceased was under Immigration custody for three months.
- The report claimed the death occurred during deportation by the Malaysian immigration department. The place of death where it occurred was at KL international airport. The death was of a “heart attack”.
What MGRH did
- The MGRH then appeared and claimed that it noticed that the face of the deceased was different from the photo on passport.
- But we know for a fact that to deport an immigration detainee, Immigration Department had already verified his passport or had obtained an official Outpass from the Indian Embassy.
- Instead MGRH jumped to the claim that the deceased was using another person’s passport during the deportation.
- Between the dates of MGRH being informed to this published news report is 6 days, i.e. from 30.1.2018 to 5.2.2018.
- MGRH claimed they managed to identify his real identity, track down the deceased wife who confirmed the identity. MGRH then collected the man’s original identification and contacted the Immigration, all completed within 6 days. Quite an astonishing feat but very doubtful that it can happened.
- Then MGRH claimed that it helped or arranged to repatriate the dead man body out from Malaysia.
- This news was then reported and published to the public on 5.2.2018.
- Clearly all the above facts point to a circular argument from analyzing the news report and other available information.
- It seems many of the facts are dubious in nature and cannot be verified or confirmed to be true.
Screenshot, courtesy of “The Star Online”
Deaths in custody Case study #2
Summary of main points
- MGRH president, Mr. T Kamalanathan received a complaint from the deceased wife Stella Rani.
- MGRH claimed deceased wife says that Martin Dass is an Indian citizen from Keela Stanmantapuram, Tiruvarur Dt, Tamilnadu,
- Martin Dass came to Malaysia to work as a general worker three months ago with tourist visa. It identified him as an illegal migrant worker and not a tourist.
- It claim that last one month, Martin was admitted at the General Hospital Kuala Lumpur Malaysia for lungs infection.
- The story continues that on the 28.01.2019, Martin passed away.
- The deceased wife is included in the story. MGRH claimed Madam Stella Rani called Mr. Kamalanathan to help to release her husband’s body.
- The hospital had refused to release the deceased body due to pending hospital bills outstanding amounted RM 15,379.00.
- Madam Stella Rani also requested The High Commission of India in Malaysia but refused to help her with the outstanding bills.
- Mr. Kamalanathan met the in-charge officer in the hospital billing department but the officer refused to give a release letter.
- It was claimed that if the outstanding not settled within 14 days the burier will be done by hospital department.
- Mr. Kamalanathan wrote a letter to the health ministry and visit them personally and explained about the deceased family financial situation.
- He also requested to waive the outstanding bills of RM 15,379.00.
- The health ministry immediately gave a letter to hospital to release the body to Mr. Kamalanathan.
- On the 5.02.2019 Martin Dass’s body was sent to his family in India by Sri Lanka Airlines at 10.30 am.
In the above-mentioned case; the statement “came to Malaysia to work as a general worker three months ago with tourist visa”. This tells us that he has broken immigration law and not a tourist. He has been identified as an illegal and is definitely in immigration custody.
From date of death to repatriation to India was a total of eight days. What is the rot condition of a dead body after eight days?
The important question is why would the hospital treats a walk-in patient who cannot provides any financial guarantee for his medical fee (RM15,379). It is suspected that the person is admitted under Government’s order, i.e. Immigration’s Order.
So instead of a death by unnatural causes while in immigration custody, it is now a story of a death of an Indian tourist from an illness in a Malaysia hospital.
Considering the death on 9th July 2019 involving a Nigerian student, there are certainly lots of questions to be asked and answered. The families of these deceased need answers so that there is closure for them.
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