RO­HINGYA SUR­VIVORS RE­LIVE CAMP OR­DEAL

Refugees still haunted by days in hu­man traf­fick­ing camps

New Straits Times - - News -

EMBUN MA­JID ALOR STAR news@nst.com.my

SUR­VIVORS of the Wang Kelian hu­man traf­fick­ing camps still suf­fer from night­mares of the tor­ture they en­dured. Many still carry phys­i­cal scars on their bod­ies.

Faisal Is­lam Mo­hamad Kassim, the Malaysian Ro­hingya So­ci­ety pres­i­dent, said he still car­ried the scars from the beat­ings at one of the camps that he was held in be­fore be­ing res­cued by Thai author­i­ties sev­eral years ago.

“We had to stand all day... if we spoke... if we asked for food we were bru­tally beaten.

“I saw women and chil­dren die due to mal­nu­tri­tion.

“Moth­ers could not breast­feed their chil­dren be­cause they had no milk,” he said.

Those who died were just dis­carded in a hole in a jun­gle, he added.

Faisal said this at the sec­ond an­niver­sary of the Wang Kelian Memo­rial here yes­ter­day.

Some 300 Ro­hingya from as far as Pe­nang, Sun­gai Pe­tani and here held a spe­cial prayer for vic­tims whose graves were un­cov­ered at 28 hu­man traf­fick­ing camps at the Malaysia-Thai­land border near Wang Kelian in Perlis. The an­niver­sary was jointly or­gan­ised by the Malaysian Con­sul­ta­tive Coun­cil of Is­lamic Or­gan­i­sa­tions (Mapim) and the Pe­nang Stop Hu­man Rights Cam­paign.

Nine­teen-year-old Aman Ul­lah said he saw his friends be­ing tor­tured and some were left to die at the camp.

“I am still haunted by the memories.

“I re­mem­ber be­ing moved from camp to camp and those who were too weak were left to die,” he said.

Shab­bir Ah­mad Nu­rul Hakim, 30, said the vic­tims were beaten even when their fam­i­lies paid money to the traf­fick­ers.

“They said if we want to come to Malaysia, we need to en­dure the suf­fer­ing.

“I had to flee from my home in Rakhine be­cause it was burnt to the ground,” he said.

Mapim pres­i­dent Azmi Ab­dul Hamid urged the author­i­ties to take more mea­sures to stop hu­man traf­fick­ing.

“This is only the tip of the ice­berg.

“We be­lieve that there are more cases out there,” he said.

Suhakam com­mis­sioner Jer­ald Joseph said since the hu­man traf­fick­ing camps were ex­posed, more Ro­hingya refugees had come for­ward to share their or­deal.

“We have in­ter­viewed 19 refugees to lis­ten to their sto­ries.

“We will dig deeper to un­cover more hu­man traf­fick­ing cases like them,” he said.

PIX BY SHARUL HAFIZ ZAM

The sec­ond memo­rial ser­vice was held at the Ro­hingya ceme­tery in Jalan Tualang, Pokok Sena, yes­ter­day.

Malaysian Con­sul­ta­tive Coun­cil of Is­lamic Or­gan­i­sa­tions pres­i­dent Mohd Azmi Ab­dul Hamid (left) and Suhakam com­mis­sioner Jer­ald

Joseph (fifth from right) at the Ro­hingya ceme­tery in Pokok Sena.

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