KUALA LUMPUR – Two Chileans imprisoned in Malaysia face deteriorating prospects as the government there refuses to intervene. The Chileans’ vacation turned into a nightmare after they accidentally killed a man who tried to harm them. Meanwhile their families are begging the Malaysian government to reconsider the charges.
Felipe Osiadacz and Fernando Candia are the names of the two unlucky Chileans put in jail as a result of the incident that occurred last year in Malaysia. One year after the imprisonment, the prisoners’ families are worried about their health conditions. But the most worrying aspect is the possible death sentence they could face as outcome of the regrettable incident. Both claim they were just trying to defend themselves, which caused the death of the Malaysian man who allegedly threatened the Chileans and attacked them for money. As the Chileans forced him on the ground until police arrived, the attacker died presumably from a heart attack due to the drugs he had consumed.
Since then their families have been trying to establish communication with the Malaysian government through Chile’s foreign ministry. Foreign minister Roberto Ampuero said, “they are being supported, visited and concerned about the situation. They are also given information and given the items their families have sent to them. The attention of our consulate is there and will continue to be there.” Ampuero indicated that he has spoken with the Chile’s ambassador to Malaysia Rodrigo Perez to gain an overview of the situation.
In addition, ex-President Eduardo Frei met the detainees’ families to support their loved ones’ return, and to tend to their requests of them receiving vaccination against malaria, hepatitis and yellow fever. According to the parents, the conditions their children find themselves in require measure to ensure their health. Senator Francisco Chauhan thanked Frei for his support, highlighting the ex-president’s extensive network in the Asia-Pacific, which could prove helpful.
After working in New Zealand, the two Chileans took a trip to Malaysia. After a night out In the country’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, they were presumably attacked by a man intoxicated with several substances on their way to the hotel. The attacker threatened them with a glass shard but the two Chileans managed to immobilize the aggressor.
According to the Chileans’ families, the Malaysian suffered cardiac arrest but no one intended to hurt him. Police arrested the Chileans on August 04, 2017, and detained them for 15 days in Dang Wangi police station, in front of their hotel. Subsequently, they were transferred to Sungai Buloh prison, where they still are. Their parents remarked that they are living a nightmare in the nine months since the arrest, and that distance and cultural differences make the situation even tougher. The Chileans were without communications and slept on the floor during the first months in prison – small inconveniences compared with the prospect of capital punishment they face now.
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today. He worked in Colombia, Surinam and the Netherlands as reporter and works with international media during major events, like the social crisis, the elections and the Pope’s visit.