Amnesty miffed at migrant detention

KATHMANDU: Amnesty International (AI) today expressed concern over the detention of Nepali migrant workers in Malaysia.

In a press release, the international human rights watchdog called on the concerned to protect the human rights of the workers.

Malaysian authorities have arrested around 140 migrant workers, including Nepalis, Bangladeshis and Indonesians.

Citing news reports, the AI said the Malaysian authorities have arrested hundreds of migrants since a crackdown on them began at the end of February.

According to AI, those arrested faced protected detention in overcrowded immigration detention centres. Migrants who are found to have violated immigration laws are subject to substantial fines, imprisonment and in some cases caning.

“Regardless of immigration status, nobody should be subjected to arbitrary arrest or appaling detention conditions,” the AI director of policy said in the statement.

According to the release, the employers routinely demand that workers turn over their passports, meaning that migrants who have authorisation to work in Malaysia often have only photocopies of their passports and work permits. Authorities frequently do not accept photocopied documents as proof of lawful status.