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Cambodian Migrant Worker Illegitimately Detained in Malaysian Prison 

2013-10-01 - CLEC


The Community Legal Education Center (CLEC) would like to express its serious concern regarding the arrest of Ms. Sry Ratha on September 9, 2013 and her subsequent detainment in Kluang Prison.

Sry Ratha arrived to work on July 14, 2011 at Honsin Apparel Sdn. Bhd. in Batu Pahat, where she has been working ever since. Supposedly, Sry Ratha did not pass her annual health test conducted by Fomena Sdn. Bhd. The reason why Sry Ratha failed her health test remains unclear as she was never provided any documentation, but it does not appear that she has any communicable disease that should lead to detention or deportation. Also, we note that Sry Ratha left Cambodia in good health and had been working and living in Malaysia for two years already.

Subsequently, and due to no mistake of her own, her work permit was cancelled before arrangement for her return to Cambodia was made.

On September 9, 2013 Sry Ratha together with Honsin Apparel management contacted the authorities in person to obtain documents to allow her to return to Cambodia, clearly demonstrating that she had no intention to break the law by remaining in Malaysia after the cancellation of her work permit. Despite this Sry Ratha was immediately arrested and has been detained in Kluang Prison since that date.

We are seriously concerned that law-abiding Cambodian migrant workers apparently risk imprisonment if their health test fails. There seems to be no process of appeal for failing a health check. Also there seems to be no offering of treatment for whatever health problem was found with Sry Ratha.

This is yet another example of the persecution and danger that awaits Cambodian migrant workers in Malaysia– and a further example of how the respective governments have failed to put in place the proper safeguards to ensure safe employment for Cambodians in Malaysia.

We call on the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Malaysian Department of Immigration to ensure the release of Sry Ratha immediately without further delay and ensure that she receives treatment for the illness she apparently has obtained while working in Malaysia contributing to that country’s economic prosperity.

For more information please contact:
Mr. Huy Pichsovann, CLEC Program Officer, +855 66 777 026

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