Hakam calls for inquest into death of Nigerian student in Immigration custody

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 17 Oct 2019

Hakam secretary-general Lim Wei Jiet

PETALING JAYA: The National Human Rights Society (Hakam) has called on the government to conduct a thorough independent investigation or inquest into the death of Nigerian PhD student Thomas Orhions Ewansiha.

In a statement condemning the Immigration Department's decision to detain Ewansiha, Hakam secretary-general Lim Wei Jiet said the government had infringed upon the right to bodily autonomy and liberty.

"Ewansiha was subject to discrimination when he was apprehended on the basis of his nationality and ethnicity in a raid specifically targeted against African migrants," he said, highlighting the power imbalance between local authorities and migrants.

"The right to non-discrimination and freedom of movement must be upheld as universally for migrants as citizens of Malaysia," he added.

Lim said friends and family deserved to know the truth of what happened to Ewansiha who passed away in custody at the Bukit Jalil Immigration Depot on July 9.

"If there were any evidence of foul play, action must be taken immediately," he said.

Hakam also urged the Immigration Department of Malaysia to improve detention conditions in prisons as well as for migrants in custody.

"There must be a robust overhaul of the standard operating procedure and conditions of these detention centres in Malaysia," he said on Thursday (Oct 17).

"Migrants possess an inalienable right to life, right to health and to be treated with dignity in Malaysia."

Lim said Hakam supported for the right of Nigerian students and migrants in Malaysia to lawful peaceful protest.

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