Dr. Irene Fernandez

The IDC is deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Irene Fernandez, founder of Tenganita and an inspiration to the IDC’s members all over the world. In 1995, Irene reported on the abuses faced by migrants in immigration detention centers in Malaysia and was subsequently charged by the Malaysian government for “maliciously publishing false news”.


After a 7 year trial, Irene was found guilty and sentenced to a year’s jail in 2003. She was released on bail, and the High Court finally overturned her conviction in November 2008. More on Irene’s tremendous work can be found here.


The IDC team pays the following tribute to Irene:
“Irene Fernandez was an inspiration for millions around the world in her work for the rights of the discriminated, the marginalised, the abused, the hidden.Her tireless support for migrants in detention triggered a response which rippled around the world and created an awareness and call to action unlike anything seen before. The legacy of her work is profound. Those ripples have led to change in ways and places that may never be measured, but her vision for justice for all remains in our hearts and will continue to inspire us. Our love and condolences go out to Irene’s family and loved ones at this time.”
Grant Mitchell, Director of the IDC