The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has refuted allegations by a repatriated maid that Cambodians are being tortured to death at a detention centre in Malaysia.
In mid-June, NGO Central paid for the repatriation of two maids detained for working without papers or passports in Malaysia, according to executive director Moeun Tola.
One maid gave harrowing testimony – reported in the Cambodia Daily on Monday – of her time at the notorious Juru detention centre, where she claimed to have seen five Cambodians die of torture and that another four or five remained in custody.
In a statement issued last night, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the two repatriated maids did not raise torture allegations with embassy staff during their repatriation.
According to the statement, only one Cambodian, Sang Plath, died in custody this year at Juru and only one, Sok Kha of Kampong Cham, remains at the prison, adding that he is soon to be repatriated.
“Juru prison authorities deny allegations of attacks on prisoners and accusations that a number of Cambodians died from that torture,” it added.
In a text message last night, Tola said that the maids’ reluctance to share their accounts with embassy staff might be attributable to concerns for their security.
He added that rights violations and torture at Juru have been well-documented by the Malaysian Human Rights Commission as well as Malaysian NGOs.