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Pattaya Daily News

29 January 2009 :: 08:01:25 am 39271

Thai Judge Sends 66 Rohingya Migrants to 5 Days in Jail

RANONG, Jan 28 - 66 illegal Rohingya migrants sent before a Thai judge in this gateway to Myanmar on Wednesday were fined 1,000 baht each (nearly US$30), and when none were able to produce the funds, the judge sentenced them each to five days imprisonment.
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Ranong police superintendent Pol.Col. Veerasilp Kwanseng earlier explained that the 66 Rohingyas were the adult men present among 78 boat people detained by the navy on Tuesday.

Twelve of the Rohingya migrants were found to be minors– underage children looking for work, but too young for the Thai authorities to prosecute. The 12 are now being cared for in police custody at the Ranong immigration police office.

The senior police officer said local authorities have given proper care to all 78 Rohingya migrants.

The medical care given by the Thai authorities involved treatment of wounds received from Myanmar naval personnel in the southern port of Mergui.

The group of migrants were found adrift near the Surin Islands in Ranong province in a boat with an engine that was no longer working, according to Thailand’s Third Navy commander

Staff at Ranong Hospital earlier on Wednesday provided treatment for back wounds. Four migrants were seriously injured and remain hospitalised.

The migrants represent the latest influx of Rohingya who have been entering Thailand illegally amid accusations that the Thai military have mistreated them. Human rights groups fear that repatriation could lead to further difficulties.

“There is no reasonable ground to believe that these illegal migrants fled from their country of origin for well-founded fear of being persecuted,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Thailand faces an “enormous burden” because of 3 million illegal migrants currently in the country, the statement said.

Some Rohingya boat people said that the Thai navy held hundreds of Rohingya migrants before allegedly forcing them back to international waters on a boat without a functioning engine with limited supply of food and water.

Thai naval and military authorities have denied the accusation. The issue has prompted the government to seek cooperation from regional countries concerned to help find a solution to tackle the problem at its root cause. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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