While it is known that individuals are unlikely to receive the utmost care or compassion in detention centres, a video clip and some photographs depicting detainees who appear emaciated at Kimanis Detention Centre in Sabah has sparked some concern and fear that the officials may have gone too far.
The following video was originally published on Facebook where it reportedly received thousands of shares, but has since been taken down:
A video clip and several photographs of frail-looking individuals said to be incarcerated at the Kimanis Detention Centre near here have gone viral on social media, purportedly over the poor treatment they received there. pic.twitter.com/nre3T737bF
— TheVibes.com (@thevibesnews) December 8, 2022
Just over a minute long, the clip demonstrates one of the inmates asserting that they are not receiving sufficient nourishment, whereas their bodies constantly feel itchy and are presumed to be hosting infections.
“Nearly a year has passed since I arrived here. There are others who’ve been here for 2 to 3 years. How long will we be imprisoned here in this centre?
“We are not obtaining adequate food and drink, and consequently this is why our bodies are emaciated, as well as itchy. The immigration officials do not respond to our requests for medication, as they only accommodate severe conditions.
“Those of us who are only just becoming infected are neglected,” said the man, who identified himself as Salomon, as he made a plea to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor and state Immigration director Datuk SH Sitti Saleha Habib Yusof that they be cleared as quickly as possible.
He also claimed to have a citizenship certificate.
When approached by The Vibes, the Immigration Department made no comment on the footage. It was also reported that the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), has not responded on the issue at the time of writing.
Meanwhile, a non-governmental organisation in Sabah run by the former Sabah Suhakam commissioner Jasmih Slamat has stated that it believes such instances are truly occurring in the prison facilities.
Jasmih asserted that a key factor in bringing attention to the human rights issue and raising awareness among the general public and the government lies within the media.
According to NST, 124 Indonesians were deported on November 24 as part of the 19th series of deportations through the Tawau port. This batch comprised of individuals from Kota Kinabalu, Papar and Sandakan depots.
On January 1 of last year, control of Sabah’s detention facilities was transferred from the National Security Council to the Immigration Department.
Allegations concerning the ill treatment of Indonesian migrant inmates in the detention institutions in Sabah circulated across social media platforms last June.
Additionally, a report published by an organisation called Koalisi Buruh Migran Berdaulat also contended that 18 Indonesian nationals had died inside the Tawau detention facility.