Malaysia: Prosecute Officials Involved in Rohingya Trafficking and Mishandled Investigation

October 18, 2022

Malaysian authorities should prosecute officials involved in trafficking Rohingya refugees to “death camps” in Wang Kelian, including those who were criminally negligent in the police investigation, said Fortify Rights today.

The Malaysian government failed to publicly release the final report of a 2019 Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into mass graves and trafficking camps discovered in 2015 in Malaysia, with the chair of the RCI claiming that the report is a state secret. However, the report recently appeared on the Ministry of Home Affairs website and is now on file with Fortify Rights.

The RCI report finds that officials could have prevented the torture and death of Rohingya and Bangladeshi trafficking victims and that official negligence hindered the detection and proper investigation of a human trafficking syndicate responsible for atrocity crimes against Rohingya and others.

“The only secrets surrounding this report relate to official complicity in the trafficking camps, and the next steps should involve prosecutions,” said Matthew Smith. “The authorities must not lose sight of the fact that significant numbers of Rohingya were murdered as well as bought and sold for profit on Malaysian soil. The Royal Commission of Inquiry was meant to advance justice and accountability, not end the conversation or sweep these crimes under the rug.”

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