The Star:700 illegals involved in ruckus moved to another depot

By NURBAITI HAMDAN and ISABELLE LAI

Staff of Amnesty International visiting the immigration depot in Sepang.

SEPANG: Some 700 Myanmar illegal immigrants involved in a ruckus at the Semenyih immigration depot early this month have been moved to the department’s KL International Airport (KLIA) depot.

They would be under strict monitoring for at least a month, KLIA depot commandant Shainurin Shaari told The Star here yesterday.

He added that so far, they had been behaving well.

“We also provide them with extra food of their choice (which the detainees pay for themselves) and we allow phone calls and visits from family and friends,” he said.

“If they continue to behave well, we will allow them to carry out their own activities, such as gotong-royong, and to play carroms outside the dormitories.”

Those who display aggressive behaviour would be isolated in separate holding cells for two to three days.

The riot in Semenyih on July 1 was because “a few bad apples” instigated the detainees to act aggressively, resulting in fences, control posts and four detention blocks suffering extensive damage.

“Some of them were frustrated because it took a long time to process their documents. They were riled up and influenced the others,” Shainurin said.

“Many of them are frustrated because of documentation problems.

“The Myanmar embassy failed to recognise their nationality, so they are stuck here, he added.”

Shainurin said to hasten their repatriation, the department planned to obtain the necessary documents even as those convicted of illegal entry were still serving prison time.

The process could start as early as two weeks before they were due for release.

Currently, processing of documents begins only after an inmate is released.

“The new system will prepare them for repatriation once they are out of prison.

“This will also reduce the number of detainees in the depot as there will be no need for them to return here,” he said.

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