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Four maids to come home from Malaysia

Four Cambodian workers will be repatriated from Malaysia this week and next – including an 18-year-old who had been detained at the notorious Juru detention centre, which has been embroiled in allegations of torture and inmate deaths.

Two other maids arrived on Friday, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Sok Kha, one of the four scheduled to return, had been detained at Juru since July 1 for not having a passport, ministry spokesman Chum Sounry said.

It was not immediately clear if the four had gone to Malaysia prior to or following last year’s lifting of a long-standing ban on the sending of domestic workers that was instituted amid allegations of abuse.

“Cambodia’s Embassy in Malaysia’s duty is to help all Cambodians, regardless of . . . whether they were there illegally or legally,” he said.

Ros Mithona, 28, and Em Sun, 29, arrived on Friday. Khim Sroeun, 32, and Kheam Sa, 41, are scheduled to arrive on Thursday. Kha will arrive on September 21, while 28-year-old Hoeun Sokla, who was jailed since February for using an expired passport, will return on September 23.

Most of the workers were cheated by their brokers, according to the ministry.

Moeun Tola, executive director of labour rights group Central, yesterday said the group is continuing to conduct its own investigation into the Juru allegations after the Malaysian Enforcement Agencies Integrity Commission and the Human Rights Commission recently declared them baseless.

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