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Rohingya boatpeople say they were beaten by Andaman Sea smugglers

Rohingya Tell of Voyage Killings

Thursday, December 26, 2013
PHUKET: The Burmese Navy handed over a boatload of Rohingya men, women and children to people smugglers who killed 12 and savagely beat many others, survivors revealed today.

The group of 139, discovered by residents in a rubber plantation north of Phuket last night, were recovering today after a harrowing 22-day voyage south to Thailand with little food and water.

Mostly young men and teenagers, some of the children ranged from two, three and four years old.

Survivors showed recent scars from savage beatings to Phuketwan journalists at a community hall in the port of Kuraburi in Phang Nga province. They were being fed by a group of sympathetic local Muslims for the first time in days.

''We were all facing death,'' one of the men told Phuketwan. ''The smugglers charged us each 200,000 kyat to make the trip. The boat was quite large and stopped along the way to pick up more passengers.

''About 10 days ago, the Burmese Navy took possession of the vessel and handed us over to a group of smugglers. There were about four Burmese and four Thais. They killed 12 of us for no reason and threw the bodies overboard.

''Others were beaten badly. We don't know why.''

It is not clear what happened to the vessel after the passengers were offloaded near Kuraburi. The smuggling of Rohingya has become a significant industry along Thailand's Andaman coast. It's now said to be more profitable and less dangerous than selling drugs.

The Arakan Project, a Rohingya advocacy group, reports that at least 9000 Rohingya joined the mass exodus from Burma in November, a record for a single month.

Although the Royal Thai Navy patrols the Andaman Sea, nothing is revealed publicly by Thailand's military about the massive numbers of Rohingya sailing south.

Thousands are now being processed through secret jungle camps in southern Thailand.

Escapers have told the Reuters news agency and Phuketwan of deaths in the camps, of the rapes of women by other Rohingya, and of torture being inflicted when captives make telephone calls to extort large payments from relatives and friends already in Malaysia, which is where the families are heading.

All of the boatpeople in the custody of Kuraburi police who spoke to reporters today corroborated being apprehended by the Burmese navy, handed to smugglers, and the deaths from beatings and shootings of 12 passengers.

Reporters were unable to determine whether the families would be held at Phang Nga Immigration or quickly transferred to the northern Thai-Burma border port of Ranong.

Almost all Rohingya held for days or even months in Thailand eventually reach Malaysia through unofficial channels.

It is not clear what will happen to the boatload of Rohingya apprehended last night north of Phuket. In paperwork seen by Phuketwan they were described as ''Burmese.'' However, they are stateless and unwanted in Burma.

Among the incomplete list of Rohingya boat passengers obtained today by Phuketwan were the following children:

Momsoon, male, 14, Yaban, male, 16, Ameen Hoosoon, female, 13, Yufik, male, 13, Ameena, female, 14, Tosoreema, female, nine, Roonnanan, female, six, Umon Foyak, male, five, Mamon Nooyub, male, two, Silamon, male, 16, Arafad, male, 15, Fatima hatoo, female, 16, Korima, female, 11, Rahama Baeklorn, female, three, Uroonfarut, male, seven, Mamodarot, male, four, Wadulhak, male, 16.

The list of adults included: Nooseamad, male, 45, Mamad Suad, male, 19, Fo Son, male, 30, Aliamad, male, 18, Eliad, male, 18, Amohamad Usuman, male, 23, Kaman, male, 18, Sadasim, male, 19, Abdul Roshik, male, 23, Somsuk, male, 20, Yabuhok, male, 22, Mohammad Arm, male 27, Sosyeechoson, male, 20, Ramo Tonla, male, 18, Nasimon, male, 18, Yaban, male, 20, Sasononla, male, 19, Suget, male, 34, Aboon Boson, male, 18, Emron, male, 20, Ameeluh, male, 18, Fosodis Arm, male, 18, Yaban, male, 76, Kadtid, male, 25, Mohammad Uban, male, 17, Mohammad batbet, male, 28, Enok, male, 28, Mohammad Banbet, male, 28, Motim, male, 22, Mamo Yunai, male, 18, Isu, male, 22, Kasim, male, 21, Nusilamun, male, 30, Nukmohammad, male. 18.

Comments

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We wish to all those people to find a real and safe home soon.

And to you, positive resolution of the issue with authorities.

The article is very remarkable step, under current circumstances. Indeed.

Posted by Sue on December 26, 2013 22:21

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What will be the fate of the Rohingya group of 139, discovered by residents in a rubber plantation north of Phuket last night, recovering today after a harrowing 22-day voyage south to Thailand with little food and water? According to the members of the group ,12 Rohingyas were already shot death by the Burma navy on their way to here. Are these Rohingya group sending to Ranong for selling to traffickers again ? Where are the UNHCR and all Human Rights related NGOs to guard and protect them ? Is this not international duty to protect the genocide escapee Rohinyas ?Are these Rohingya not deserve to be refugees as per international law ? Who are benefited from human trafficking ?We are sure if these unfortunate Rohingya were sent to Ranong ,the traffickers can make minimum 2000 USD per head x 139 =2,78,000 US Dollars in total within a short time. This is many times more profitable money making than drug business. Some hundreds millions dollars already made this month by selling more than ten thousands Rohingyas . I am strongly asking to find out who are behind this fearful human trafficking business. In the main time , Rohingyas are faced discrimination at the hands of traffickers .We learned that some greedy Rohingyas of Malaysia and Thailands are partly running trafficking by the help of local muscle men along side of Malaysia and Thailand boarder.This is my ardent request to news medias and government officials not to use any Rohingya from Thailand as interpreters or helpers because most of the cases these kinds of people can be easily prey in trafficking. The authority must stop Rohingya from Thailand reaching to the newly arrival boat people. Some of them are also pretended to be political , social and religious leader of Rohingyas. Please don't allow any Rohingya and Burmese near to the Rohingya boat people . The best solution is Thai authority , UNHCR ,Reporters and IOM to handle the issue without outsider involvement . No visitors please !The interpreters can be arranged by UNHCR . It is very important to protect the Rohingyas in their native places to stop boat people. Thanks again to to the Phuketwan for high lighting this precious news. Good luck to Alan and Chutima!

Posted by Maung Kyaw Nu,President,Burmese Rohingya Association in Thailand (BRAT) on December 27, 2013 03:00

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Congratulations on having the courage to report this under your current trying circumstances.

Posted by Tom on December 27, 2013 09:56


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