ROHINGYA SURVIVORS RELIVE CAMP ORDEAL
Refugees still haunted by days in human trafficking camps
EMBUN MAJID ALOR STAR email@example.com
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.
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.