Monday, June 01, 2015

HUMAN TRAFFICKING - Malaysia, Camps and Graves

"Human trafficking camps and mass graves discovered in Malaysia" PBS NewsHour 5/26/2015


SUMMARY:  In Malaysia, migrants fleeing persecution and impoverishment have found a new nightmare when they land ashore.  Authorities admit they have found dozens of human trafficking camps in the country’s jungles, where desperate refugees have been starved, beaten, extorted and killed.  Jordan Sparks of Independent Television News reports.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  We travel now to Malaysia, where thousands of migrants, fleeing persecution and impoverishment, are spending weeks trapped at sea, find a different nightmare when they finally land ashore.

Jonathan Sparks of Independent Television News reports.

And a warning:  The story contains some graphic elements.

JOHN SPARKS, Independent Television News:  We were taken in army trucks to the bottom of the mountain, where the Malaysian authorities said they’d found a human traffickers’ camp.  This was a significant development.  Last week, they vehemently denied there were any.

We’re still going, are we?  We’re still going to the camp?

MAN:  Ya, ya, ya, ya.

JOHN SPARKS:  The order was given and we began to climb.  Yesterday, the Malaysians came clean, admitting there were at least 28 of these camps where traffickers held thousands of migrants, persecuted Burmese Muslims called Rohingya and impoverished Bangladeshis.

And we followed in their footsteps, men, women and children forced up and down this trail.  The track is rough, and it’s also very steep, but you can see that it’s well used.  There’s litter all over the place.  And it’s difficult to believe that local people and members of the authorities didn’t know that there were hundreds of people living out here.

The camp took shape from a distance.  Such was it size, it wasn’t easy to hide a bamboo jail that stretched across a mountain clearing, but further details were hard to come by.

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