A Malaysian-based human rights organization says that volunteers pursuing illegal immigrants in Malaysia are abusing and illegally detaining suspects.
The human rights group Suaram says in a statement today that the government uses a force of some 400 thousand untrained volunteers to conduct mass raids on neighborhoods of suspected illegal immigrants. Many of the immigrants are asylum seekers from Indonesia, Bangladesh and Burma.
The group says most of the volunteers are part of the People's Volunteer Corp - or RELA .
Suaram says RELA has shown a consistent pattern of assault, theft, damage to property and degrading treatment of suspected illegal immigrants Suaram is calling on the government to immediately stop using RELA to round up immigrants and cease the mass raids. The group also has called for an investigation into the alleged abuses by the volunteers.