After Stateless Teen Dies In Detention Family Fights For Brother S Freedom
On Aug 3, Mohd Raman Albat, 18, breathed his last at the Tawau Hospital in Sabah. The teenager, who was held at an immigration detention centre had purportedly complained of chest pains for several days but was only taken to the hospital the day before he died.
Now, his family and human rights activists have mounted a campaign to free his older brother, Mohd Hassan, 19, fearing that he too could meet a similar fate.
According to activist Jefry Musa, the brothers were arrested in 2020 for not possessing valid documents despite their father being a Malaysian.
The pair found themselves in this conundrum because their mother was a stateless person, therefore, their parents’ marriage was not legally registered.
"Right now, the family’s priority is to fight for Hassan's freedom. He is not a Filipino as the authorities have alleged. He does not have any relatives in the Philippines.
"So far, since his brother's death, the family has not been able to contact Hassan. So we do not know how he is doing.
"We want to get justice for Raman too. But now, our campaign is focused on saving Hassan and after this is done, we will move on to fight for justice for Raman," he told Malaysiakini.
Jefry is also a teacher and has taught the brothers' younger siblings at Iskul Sama Di Laut Omadal, a community-based school that provides education for children unable to attend public schools due to their stateless status.
The activist said about a week before the victim's death, Hassan had contacted his uncle and told him Raman complained of chest pain.
According to him, the family was informed by the hospital that Raman was brought in for treatment on Aug 2.
A post-mortem was conducted but the results have not been released. The victim’s remains were laid to rest last Friday.
Jefry alleged that when the brothers’ uncle collected Raman’s remains, he was “duped” into signing a document that absolved the Immigration Department of any responsibility and no legal action could be initiated against them.
"The uncle thought it was just a document that he needed to sign to claim the remains of his nephew. He did not understand what it actually meant. Basically, he was misled.
"So we are weighing legal options and seeking advice from several lawyers who have agreed to help in this case," he added.
Malaysiakini has contacted the Immigration Department corporate communications for comment. - Mkini
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