Friday, January 16, 2009

Thai Navy tortures Rohingya refugees in view of tourists

A shocking incident happened recently on Thailand's world famous Similan Islands. And the event -- witnessed by foreign tourists -- was probably not the worst of it.

Phuket Wan reports:
Dozens of Rohingya refugees were beaten and detained for hours by the Thai Navy on an Andaman Sea tourist island, in scenes that unfolded in full view of foreign holidaymakers.

Photographs of the December 23 incident in the Similan Islands were captured by Hong Kong-based tourist Andrew Jones.

. . . . guards armed with M-16 rifles forced the refugees to lie face down in the sand for at least two hours, then ''whipped'' them about the head with a strap if they tried to sit up or move. The refugees were naked to the waist and bound at their wrists.

Some tourists appeared oblivious to the scenes just metres away, continuing to snorkel and sunbathe. Others who were shocked by the treatment of the men and tried to photograph the incident had their cameras snatched away by angry guards, who deleted the images.
Read the whole story and view the extraordinary photos.

Yet, this alarming report may not even reflect the worst that Thailand is doing to the Rohingyans, according to a report by SCMP that comes to us via Bangkok Pundit:
Thailand’s army is secretly detaining boatpeople on an island in the Andaman Sea, before towing them into international waters and abandoning them with only paddles, sources involved in the process said. [BP: Sounds similiar to something that happened under a certain PM in the 80s]

The army officially denies holding any Rohingya – Muslims who come from the border areas of Myanmar and Bangladesh – who sail for Southeast Asia at this time of year by the hundreds.
Although such reports are a matter of the utmost urgency, the mainstream Thai media has not even bothered to report these allegations!

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