Malaysia: Urgent appeal for Pakistani business student being detained and tortured

Amnesty International today (2 November) launched an urgent appeal for Sajad Hussain Wani, a Pakistani national studying in Malaysia, who has been detained illegally for almost one month, and has been tortured by immigration authorities.

Amnesty International is concerned that his detention is illegal, and that he may face further torture and ill-treatment. Amnesty is asking people to write to the Prime Minister, the Director of the Immigration Department and the Attorney General in Malaysia to express their concerns.

Amnesty International UK Director, Kate Allen, said:

“These appeals can work. If enough people join us and contact the Malaysian authorities, we may be able to get Sajad’s release.

“Torture and imprisonment without trial are violations of people’s fundamental human rights and cannot be tolerated wherever they take place.

“Sajad’s continuing detention without charge is a disgrace and the reports of his torture are deeply disturbing.”

Sajad Hussain Wani is studying for a Master of Business Administration (MBA) qualification at the Abdul Razak University in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, and has a valid student visa.

On 2 October, he was detained by immigration officials, after his former girlfriend contacted the authorities, allegedly requesting his arrest. Under Malaysian law, immigration officials are only permitted to arrest those suspected of being illegal immigrants.

Sajad Hussain Wani is being held in the Sepang detention camp, near Kuala Lumpur's international airport. He has not been charged with any offence, and has not yet been brought before a court to challenge the legality of his detention.

On 7 October, Sajad Hussain Wani's friends visited him in detention, and noted that his face was bruised. Sajad Hussain Wani told them that he had cigarette burns on his body, including on his genitals.

His lawyer has told Amnesty International he is aware of at least three incidents of abuse during the period of his detention, including one at the Immigration Department headquarters.

The relatives of the former girlfriend have been implicated in the abuse, as they allegedly participated with the acquiescence of immigration officials.

The lawyer has filed a complaint against the immigration authorities over their detention and alleged torture of Sajad Hussain Wani, but the complaint has not been investigated by the Attorney General or the police.

Background

  • Amnesty International has previously investigated the Malaysian immigration authorities' treatment of migrants and refugees. Police, security forces and immigration authorities are routinely accused of brutality and excessive use of force.
  • Amnesty International has reported on widespread abuse of police and security forces' powers, including the use of torture and ill-treatment. There are very few investigations into human rights abuses committed by police, and there is currently no independent complaints mechanism for police misconduct.

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