Annual Report: Malaysia 2013

May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Malaysia 2013

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  • As of November, at least 14 detainees, all foreign nationals, were held under the ISA until their detention orders expired, despite repeal of this law.

Refugees and migrants

Refugees were subjected to systematic detention, and migrant workers faced labour abuses. In June, Indonesia ended a two-year ban on sending migrant domestic workers to Malaysia, following abuses against domestic workers there.

  • On 12 February, Malaysia violated the international prohibition against refoulement by forcibly returning blogger Hamza Kashgari to Saudi Arabia, where he faced the possibility of a death sentence on criminal charges of apostasy for his tweets about the Prophet Mohamed.
  • Nigerian student Onochie Martins Nwankwo was beaten to death on 30 March by members of Ikatan Relawan Rakyat (RELA), a civilian para-police force mandated to enforce immigration controls. On 20 April, Parliament passed the Malaysia Volunteers Corps Bill 2012, which stripped RELA members of the power to make arrests and carry firearms.

Death penalty

At least 860 prisoners were on death row at the end of February, according to the Prisons Department. The authorities did not disclose the number of executions carried out in 2012.

  • In October, Law Minister Nazri Aziz announced that the government would consider replacing the mandatory death penalty with prison sentences, but only for drug offences and under certain circumstances.

Amnesty International visits/reports

  • Malaysia: End harassment of anti-corruption campaigners
  • (ASA 28/002/2012)
  • Malaysia should broaden its proposal to scrap the death penalty
  • (ASA 28/003/2012)
  • Malaysia: Anwar case shows why sodomy law must be scrapped (PRE01/009/2012)