Monday, 6 July 2015

Malaysia buries another 24 human trafficking victims

Malaysia provided Muslim burials Monday to 24 human trafficking victims, bringing to 99 the total number of suspected Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants laid to rest after bodies were found near the Thai border.

Noh Dahya, Islamic Religious Department director in northwest Kedah state, was cited by state news agency Bernama as saying that the seven remaining victims out of the 106 discovered last month would be buried after the Eid ul-Fitr holiday.

Eid ul-Fitr comes at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and is expected to fall on July 17 this year.

On June 9, police said they had recovered the remains of 106 suspected human trafficking victims from gravesites found in the town of Padang Besar along the country’s northern border.

The rituals held in the early hours of Monday morning were the fourth round of burials, and saw the remains of 24 male victims interred in a single gravesite.

The first burial of trafficking victims was held June 21, when nineteen men and two women were laid to rest in two separate graves, with the rituals attended by residents of Kampung Tualang and other villages.

The remains of 30 other victims were buried June 29, followed by another 24 on July 4.

Police chief Khalid Abu Bakar had earlier said that security forces usually did not patrol the hilly border area where the bodies were found, but began to focus there after Thai police discovered dozens of bodies belonging to Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants in May.

Following the discovery of human trafficking camps in southern Thailand in early May, authorities launched a crackdown that led to smugglers fleeing and boatloads of migrants then turning up on Thai, Indonesian and Malaysian shores, while thousands more remained at sea.

Since a tri-nation conference on the Southeast Asian boat people crisis May 20, Indonesia and Malaysia have said they will take the Rohingya in for one year, ascertain which are asylum seekers and which are economic migrants, and then the international community will find homes for them.

Monday 6 July 2015


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