Rohingya Detainee Escaped Immigration Depot Because He Didn't Want To Be Beaten Up

During the breakout on Wednesday, 20 April, six escapees were killed in a road accident, which caused the driver in his mid-50s to be in shock.

Cover image via Izad Thaqif Hassan/New Straits Times & Oriental Daily

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A Rohingya detainee with bruises on his face had no choice but to flee the Sungai Bakap temporary immigration depot yesterday, 20 April, to avoid being beaten up by his countrymen

According to New Straits Times, the escapee revealed that he did not want to leave the depot in Kedah when the riot started.

However, due to his defiance of wanting to stay, he was punched by other Rohingya detainees.

He told reporters that he is a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) cardholder and alleged that those without the card were the ones who caused the chaos.

"The number of those without the UNHCR cards is more than those who had one. If we refused to flee, we would be beaten up and inflicted with injuries," he confessed

The man was among three other escapees who were recaptured by the police and taken to the Bandar Baharu district police station before they were sent to the immigration depot for the next course of action.

Other than violence within the group, some were injured and killed in a road accident when 528 of them fled the immigration depot at 5am on Wednesday.

Among the escapees were women as well as children, reported The Star.

Penang police chief ACP Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said in one accident, six escapees comprising two men, two women, and two children (a boy and a girl) were killed.

The driver, in his mid-50s, was in shock following the accident, but has since calmed down, reported the English daily.

Two of the escaped detainees were recaptured by police in Sungai Rembai Relau, near Bandar Baharu, Kedah last night.

Image via Bernama via Free Malaysia Today

The authorities revealed that overcrowding could be the reason behind the riot and breakout

With that said, the Kedah police will launch an investigation into the breakout.

According to Free Malaysia Today, 385 escapees were recaptured and the authorities have launched 'Op Cantas' to track down detainees who are still at large.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said the 528 detainees who escaped are Rohingya nationals who were transferred from the Wawasan Langkawi camp after they were arrested for encroaching Malaysian waters in 2020.

Bernama reported that the country has seen 10 breakouts since 1999, with yesterday's incident being the largest number of escapees.

Six of the incidents involved less than 15 escapees, while the incident on 26 July 1999 recorded the second-highest escapees with 192 Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian, and Indonesian detainees fleeing from Lenggeng Immigration Depot in Negeri Sembilan.

Rohingya refugees face tremendous hardship even after they have fled their oppressive Myanmar homeland: