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Rights Group: Malaysia Should Disband Volunteer Force


A human rights group has urged Malaysia to disband a volunteer security force, accusing it of using illegal policing practices in its campaign against illegal immigrants.

Human Rights Watch in a statement today accused the People's Volunteer Corp -- known as RELA - Ikatan Relawan Rakyat of using excessive force, breaking into migrants' homes without warrants and wrongly detaining people.

The Asia director of the U.S.-based rights group, Brad Adams, blamed the Malaysian government for authorizing RELA, which he called "little more than a vigilante force to target foreigners."

Last year, a Malaysian rights group Suaram accused RELA of committing similar abuses.

RELA has nearly 500,000 uniformed volunteers. It was established in 1972 to maintain public order but is now primarily used to round up undocumented migrant workers.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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