Nigerian who died in Immigration detention had no sign of physical assault

14 Jul 2019 / 21:54 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The cause of death for Nigerian student Thomas Orhions Ewansiha, who was said to have died from a seizure while asleep at the Immigration detention depot in Bukit Jalil, will be known by tomorrow.

Immigration Department director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud said that Thomas’ preliminary death report was explained to the Nigerian embassy’s representative last Friday.

“We are still waiting for the final medical report and post-mortem by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia hospital which is expected to be ready by today or tomorrow,“ he said in a press conference after conducting a joint operation to inspect immigrants’ documents at Jalan Silang, here today.

“Last Friday, we also met 22 embassies and High Commission representatives to discuss matters related to immigration. Thus far, the investigation conducted by the Immigration Department did not show the individual to have been hit or faced physical violence.

“As stated earlier, he died at 12.30am on July 9, treatment was given prior to that and the management of his death was according to the standard operating procedure, where medical treatment was provided by immigration officers and a police report was lodged.”

Asked about Thomas’ two children, Khairul said they were Nigerian and their embassy has been informed of their deportation.

“The decision will be made by the embassy,“ he added.

He said a police report has been lodged by the supervisor and on-duty officer at the Bukit Jalil police station. The deceased was among 20 people who were arrested during a Ops Bersepadu conducted at Desa AmanPuri area at 10.45pm on July 4.

He said the operation was conducted following public complaints over an influx of Africans in the Desa Aman Puri area in Kepong.

The presence of the Africans had caused anxiety among residents as they were believed to be involved in drug abuse and prostitution.

During the operation, Africans were found at eateries and had gathered on the ground floor of the flats.

“They fled on seeing the raiding party. The deceased was one of them.

“He was however later captured. He then handed over his passport which revealed that he had a valid student pass,“ he said.

Khairul had recently said the deceased’s bid to escape had raised doubt on the authenticity of his student pass. He was accused of violating Section 56(1)(I) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 and was arrested under Section 51(5)(b) for 14 days to facilitate investigation.

He said all detainees were taken to the Kuala Lumpur Immigration Department office for documentation purposes.

“During the documentation process, he was given basic treatment by the Civil Defence Force personnel on the right calf for existing injuries.

“He didn’t inform the department personnel whether he had any health problems. He and other detainees were taken to Bukit Jalil depot July 5 at noon,“ he said, adding the deceased was well treated in accordance with standard operating procedure of handling detainees by the officers at the depot.

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