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Thailand overcomes migrants

In one case last month, the reports say, 410 Rohingya migrants were taken out to sea on a Thai Navy vessel and forced onto an open barge with just four barrels of water and two sacks of rice.

Four people were thrown overboard with their hands and feet tied as a way to encourage the others to board the barge, according to the reports.

After drifting for two weeks, about 100 of the migrants were rescued on the Andaman Islands, which are administered by India. About 300 remain missing after trying to swim to shore, according to several reports from the news media and human rights groups.

In a second case soon afterward, 580 people were reportedly seized off the Thai coast on three overcrowded fishing boats. These were towed back out to sea after their engines were removed, said Chris Lewa, an expert on Rohingya issues who runs a private human rights group called the Arakan Project.

Thailand Is Accused of Rejecting Migrants
Published: January 18, 2009
Human rights groups have accused Thai authorities of detaining as many as 1,000 boat people from Bangladesh and Myanmar and sending them back out to sea in boats without engines.


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