Malaysia PM 'deeply concerned' by mass graves
25 May 2015, 12:45
Wang Kelian - Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Monday he
was "deeply concerned" by the first discovery of mass graves of
suspected illegal migrants in northern Malaysia and vowed to find those
"I am deeply concerned with graves found on Malaysian
soil, purportedly connected to people-smuggling," he said on his Facebook
and Twitter accounts.
"We will find those responsible."
Malaysia's home minister announced Sunday that mass graves
were found near jungle camps along the border with Thailand, further evidence
of the lethal nature of a human-trafficking trade that has blown up in to a
Police in neighbouring Thailand in early May had found
secret human-trafficking camps on their side of the border and dozens of
shallow graves. These are the first found in Malaysia.
Officials have yet to say how many bodies are in the
Malaysian graves or their precise locations, but the country's police chief was
expected to hold a press conference at 11:00.
There may be dozens or even hundreds of corpses in the
graves, Malaysian media reports have said, citing unidentified sources.
Malaysia's Perlis state, where the graves were found, is
near where Thailand found its graves.
The area is said by anti-trafficking groups to be a key stop
on a route that funnels migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar into Malaysia and
Thailand launched a crackdown on human-smuggling following
the discovery of its mass graves.
The move appears to have caused nervous traffickers to
abandon their human cargo at sea, leaving boats filled with hundreds of
starving migrants seeking to land in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
After initially turning them away, Malaysia and Indonesia
last week bowed to international pressure, saying they would admit boat people
pending their repatriation or resettlement elsewhere.
Rights groups have long accused Malaysian authorities of not
doing enough to contain human-smuggling.