It should come as no surprise that the Thai government denied that it was abusing migrants.
I live with “boat people” who fled communism in Vietnam after 1975. Many still weep when recalling their treatment in thailand.
So I have a tendency to believe the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) and journalists on the scene who have spoken to the Myanmar minority Rohingya refugees now in Thailand….
Reviews of United Nations records and media reports show a pattern of questionable if not barbaric treatment of refugees in Thailand. Currently, there are at least two regugee abuse situation inside Thailand and not just one….
Myanmar, Thailand Force Hungry Refugees to Run, Or Deport Them To Where?.
A group of refugees who survived being at sea for a month, then being beaten and burned, now await the next turn of their fates in the Thai court system.
They’ll go to trial?
Thailand‘s government has “categorically denied” mistreating migrants following reports it towed hundreds of desperate boat people back out to sea and abandoned them.
Survivors say Thailand’s military towed hundreds of migrants from Myanmar’s minority Rohingya community out to sea in poorly equipped boats with scant food and water.
But the foreign ministry said such actions had no place in Thai policy.
Male refugees show scars they say were caused by beatings at the hands of the Myanmar navy.
“As for the serious allegations… including that various forms of mistreatment were inflicted… this must be categorically denied as having no place in policy and procedures,” the ministry said in a statement released late Tuesday.
“Nevertheless, should concrete evidence be presented, the Thai government would serious look into such cases and further verification (would be) carried out,” it added.
The statement said Thai law required that all migrants arriving along the south west Andaman coastline be stopped, questioned and their needs assessed.
It said those who had not smuggled goods into the kingdom received basic humanitarian assistance before being repatriated or escorted out of Thai territory. Smugglers would be investigated and then ordered out, it said.
Accusations of mistreatment surfaced earlier this month after nearly 650 Rohingya were rescued off India and Indonesia, some claiming to have been beaten by Thai soldiers before being set adrift in the high seas.
Hundreds of the boat people are still believed to be missing at sea.
Abhisit has said authorities were dealing with the boat people in a humane way, but Britain on Tuesday joined the United Nations in expressing “concern” for the migrants’ welfare.
The foreign ministry statement said an estimated 20,000 illegal migrants were currently in Thailand and said several thousand arrive each year, calling the issue “a collective problem” for regional countries to address together.
Meanwhile Thai authorities detained a further 78 boat people from Myanmar who were found off Surin island in the south around midnight Monday, police said.
More Refugees Land in Thailand Amid Abuse, Human Rights Furor
Thailand’s Questionable Talk On Stopping Abuse of Refugees