On being pushed back out to sea

31 01 2013

A report in The Australian states that a “Thai navy official in Bangkok said more than 200 Rohingya were found on Tuesday about 40 kilometres off the Thai mainland.” He added: “We took them food and water before pushing them towards a third country…”.

On the Rohinga, a reader sent us this, from a French report, suggesting that being pushed back to sea may be better than getting caught in :

In Thailand, we sell Rohingya refugees

Original article in French written by Umm Michket

Burmese refugees who come to Thailand to escape persecution they suffered in Burma are facing equally horrible situation. After run away from the mistreatment of the Burmese authorities, they now face those of Thai authorities. Once intercepted by the Thai authorities, the Rohingya refugees are sold by Thai police to human traffickers. This human trafficking was revealed by BBC, and shows how the authorities, shamelessly, take advantage of the helplessness of those refugees.

Ahmed was sold for 1300 dollars

Rohingyas are trying to reach places where they hope to live in safety. For example, this is the case of Ahmed, who fled Burma in a makeshift boat with 60 people on board. After sailing for 13 days, their boat was intercepted and arrested by the Thai navy. The refugees were transferred to a police van, and then, they were separated between several vehicles, crammed in the back.

It is only later that they discovered that they were the subject of a sale to human traffickers in Malaysia. Then, they were transported to a city border between Malaysia and Thailand. Ahmed recounts their catastrophic lives: “They dug a hole for us to use as a toilet. We ate, slept and excreted in the same place. ” It also discusses the abuse they have suffered, and how they were tortured.

The price that the traffickers paid to acquire Ahmed was 1300 dollars. To get back his freedom, the Rohingya must pay back this amount to the traffickers. Alarmed, Ahmed’s wife sold their cow but the amount was not enough. A Rohingya friend finally paid the remaining amount to the traffickers to release Ahmed.

Human traffic, a “natural” solution

According to some Thai officials, the sale of Burmese Muslim refugees is a “natural” solution to solve the problem of those newcomers. In fact, they believe that the best solution is to sell the Rohingyas to Malaysians who are Muslims like them. It would also be a way to get rid of them without going through the steps of deportation.

After the revelation of this vast human trafficking, the Thai Government has planned to launch soon an investigation about this human trafficking.

Boat People Rohingya refugees, including men, women and children, arrive almost every day on Thai territory. Those refugees face enormous difficulties to gain acceptance in the neighboring countries, like Bangladesh for example. Thailand went further in developing a human traffic.

The states bordering Burma, but also the international community, should stand up for the issue of Rohingya refugees, and also for the persecutions and massacres within Burma itself.

Ironically, the Labour Minister is saying he wants to import Bangladeshi workers for the equivalent of satanic mills, being Thailand’s fishing industry, where the Burmese have apparently grown tired of of murder, scurvy and other human rights abuses.


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1 02 2013
HRW annual accounting « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] other issues, the plight of the Rohinga is mentioned as is the south where the military still holds sway. The full HRW report […]

1 02 2013
HRW annual accounting « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] other issues, the plight of the Rohinga is mentioned as is the south where the military still holds sway. The full HRW report […]

21 06 2014
Thailand’s shame | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] One point to note about this is that, while it comes at a time that reflects particularly badly for Thailand’s military dictatorship, it is not just the military that has failed and, indeed, been implicated in trafficking. All recent Thai governments have been downright awful on this matter, with the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime being amongst the most hopeless. With its military allies, Abhisit’s government adopted hardline tactics more than once. It copped plenty of flak. Then minister Kasit Piromya even worked on plans to repatriate Burmese refugees. The Yingluck Shinawatra government was unable to reign in the military. […]

18 10 2014
Further updated: Slavery and the dictatorship | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] some pretty savage blocking of PPT at the moment and we suspect that this has more to do with protecting slavers than monarchy. A reader comments that the slave business in one likely explanation for the […]

18 10 2014
Further updated: Slavery and the dictatorship | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] some pretty savage blocking of PPT at the moment and we suspect that this has more to do with protecting slavers than monarchy. A reader comments that the slave business in one likely explanation for the […]




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