Rohingya Prisoners Rip Free But Escape is Thwarted by Immigration Guards

msa
By July 31, 2013 07:19

By Chutima Sidasathian and Alan Morison

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

PHUKET: A group of Rohingya staged a breakout from an Immigration centre this afternoon in a protest against cramped conditions at the Thai facility where they are being held.

Immigration officials and soldiers quickly brought the protest under control, sources told Phuketwan this evening.

Tonight in the aftermath of the protest, a number of Rohingya from the Sadao Immigration Centre in the province of Songkhla were being tranferred by officials to an unknown destination.

Sadao Immigration, according to a doctor who pays regular visits there, is where at least five Rohingya have died in custody since January.

The centre is crowded with 302 men who are said to be unable to lie down or stretch from a squatting position without coming into contact with other inmates.

This afternoon about 4pm, sources say, five men tore a grille from their ”cage” on the second floor – in Thailand the ground floor is called the first floor – and jumped down.

The five men who created the hole were followed by five more men, according to sources.

The 10 Rohingya were still inside the perimeter of the facility. With the alarm raised, Immigration officials quickly brought the situation under control.

It’s understood that soldiers also surrounded the centre, just in case the escape bid became more serious.

The doctor and others with access to the centre has warned the Governor of Songkhla Province and other authorities about the deteriorating physical and mental health of the Sadao prisoners.

Incarcerated in inhumane conditions without information about their fate, the men have been rapidly losing hope and in many cases are suffering from depression.

Along with hundreds of other Rohingya men, the group in Sadao is being held indefinitely by Thai authorities pending a decision on their status and future.

A six-month self-imposed deadline for a decision to be made about the Rohingya passed on Friday.

Scores of Rohingya women and children, held in Thailand in open family shelters, have already escaped and – most likely with the help of human traffickers – made their way across the Thai border and into Malaysia.

Eleven men have also escaped from the Phang Nga Immigration centre, north of Phuket.

Amnesty International says seven Rohingya men have died in Thailan

d since January. A usually reliable source has suppliedPhuketwan with the names of eight men reported to have died in custody so far.

Most of the Rohingya – believed to now number about 1700 in total at centres and shelters around the country – were apprehended in border traffickers’ camps or on passing boats in January, with at least one more boatload caught on Phuket in March.

Thailand’s Government has yet to make a public statement about the Rohingya and their future.

It is now being speculated more widely that the Thai Army’s Internal Operations Security Command – which oversees border security – could be put in charge of a large camp that would at least enable the Rohingya families who are now separated to be reunited.

Thousands more Rohingya are expected to begin boarding boats to leave Burma (Myanmar) from October.

The Thai Government is being advised by NGOs to include the United Nations refugee agency in its future processing to obliterate or diminish the human trafficking that has become widespread along Thailand’s Andaman holiday coast.

The news is originally published by Phuketwan on: http://bit.ly/17h0JND RVisionTV gives due credits to original writers and publishers.

Our sources on the ground says

“The asylum-seeking Rohingyas have been languishing in the said detention center for months. They have been put in the over-crowded detention and kept in sub-human condition. Months had gone by; Rohingya detainees received no signs of hope and promises for their future from Thai government. They want to be resettled but all their hope is in vain.

In the desperation, the detainees broke down the two gates of the detention center in their protests to have better future. They broke down the gates and kept sitting and protesting. Yet, they didn’t try to escape from the prison. But media are trying to portray incidence as if they attempted to escape.

They were protesting to draw international attention to their vulnerable plights and get their demands fulfilled.”

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By July 31, 2013 07:19

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