Our warnings not heeded, rights group says on immigration depot Covid-19 cluster

Migrants without documents being rounded up in the Klang Valley.

PETALING JAYA: A human rights group today expressed regret that its warning on the detenton of undocumented migrants at immigration depots was not heeded amid an increasing number of cases at the Bukit Jalil immigration depot.

In a statement, Tenaganita executive director Glorene Das said they had already voiced their concern on the matter even before the crackdown on undocumented migrants during the movement control order (MCO).

“We had mentioned that detention centres are confined quarters and the constant cycle of people entering and leaving a centre creates a perfect hotbed for spreading the virus, to and from communities.

“Making matters worse, it is well documented that our detention centres struggle to provide adequate healthcare to detainees.”

Glorene said Tenaganita had demanded that the government make arrangements for all migrants and their families to be repatriated and to immediately release all refugees and asylum seekers held at detention centres.

Tenaganita executive director Glorene Das.

“We believed that this action will reduce the risk dramatically but this warning was not seriously accepted.

“Today, we have 60 infected detained at just one detention holding centre in Bukit Jalil.”

The Bukit Jalil immigration depot has been designated as the newest Covid-19 cluster in the country.

Two other cases have also been reported from the Semenyih immigration depot.

“This will become a stain on our nation’s morality and integrity, based on the value we are currently placing on the right to a life of dignity for all, and further to that, pose additional risks to public health.”

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