Malaysia should immediately halt the judicial caning of refugees and migrants, Amnesty International said after the government disclosed that almost 30,000 foreigners had been caned in five years.
In a response to a parliamentary question on 9 March, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein disclosed that Malaysia had caned 29,759 foreigners between 2005 and 2010 for immigration offences alone.
“The government’s figures confirm that Malaysia is subjecting thousands of people to torture and other ill-treatment each year,” said Sam Zarifi, Asia Pacific director at Amnesty International. “This is a practice which is absolutely prohibited under international law, no matter what the circumstances.”
“As a first step, the Malaysian government has to immediately declare a moratorium on this brutal practice.”
Amnesty International also called for a complete abolition of all forms or corporal punishment, which constitutes torture or other ill-treatment.