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No choice, no home, no hope: Rohingya are downtrodden and despairing

Rohingya Women and Children in Mass Escape from Phuket Refuge: Sleeping Boy Left Behind

Monday, June 3, 2013
PHUKET: Rohingya women and children being sheltered at a family centre on Phuket have all fled, leaving behind only a boy who failed to wake up in time.

The care being provided at the centre on Koh Sireh, east of Phuket City, is being questioned in the wake of the mass departure.

In the months since the women and children were captured on a boat off Phuket, there had previously been two escapes from the family shelter on Phuket.

In the first escape, six boys vanished. In the second escape, three more Rohingya disappeared.

About 2am today, all the remaining Rohingya fled the Phuket family centre, with the exception of the sleeping boy.

Officials have declined to provide information but Phuketwan understands that 29 Rohingya women and children had initially been accommodated at the shelter.

With numbers diminished by the first two escapes, the third departure saw all three women and the remaining girls and boys quit the shelter, say reliable sources, except for the boy.

Six of those who fled were rounded up late today near a mosque in Phuket City.

It's not known whether they have been returned to the Koh Sireh shelter or whether there will be changes in security following the mass escape.

Distress and despair are not unusual among would-be refugees who are detained for long periods without clarity about the length of their detention or their future.

It's believed the first ''escapees'' - all of them teenage boys - fled when it was rumored that the Thai government would repatriate the 2000 Rohingya being held in the country to Burma.

The Rohingya are stateless and deprived of their rights in Burma (Myanmar.) Those being held in Thailand after being seized from human trafficking camps or apprehended on boats in the Andaman Sea fear ''certain death'' if they are repatriated.

The Rohingya are being held in small groups at facilities of different sizes throughout Thailand with conditions for them now causing concern.

Television footage shot at the Phang Nga Immigration centre north of Phuket and screened on Britain's Channel 4 showed appallingly cramped conditions, with the muscles of the 276 men likely to atrophy if improvements are not made.

The Rohingya were only supposed to be held for six months.

That time limit, set by the Thai Government, is approaching with no decision yet about the status or the future of the unwanted minority members being held in Thailand.

UPDATE Shock Video: Cruel Cages North of Phuket

WHERE boatpeople are kept in inhumane conditions
http://blogs.channel4.com/world-news-blog/the-plight-of-burmas-rohingya-muslims-in-a-thai-camp/24226/

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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It is truely a sad thing that these children left. I have been coming and visiting these children in Phuket for the last several months with a group of volunteers, teaching Thai & English, playing games and seeing the children have real joy. Those who work there are loving and the facility is good, everyone is very concerned about these children. After hearing this news, I came to talk with the staff here, they are worried and stressed over the children leaving. I am writing this to let you know that you are not hearing the whole story about this situation, here in Phuket or in Thailand. And the link at the end of the artical is not correct. This picture is not even of one of the children who was living in Phuket. Whoever wrote this artical should tell the true story instead of making something up, there is a no picture taking rule there and this is shameful to see.

Posted by Jen on June 4, 2013 14:32

Editor Comment:

We are delighted to hear you have been working as a volunteer but please tell us what your complaint is. The photograph isn't from the Phuket centre and doesn't pretend to be. As you say, no photos are allowed. This is your first comment. If you search 'rohingya' on Phuketwan, you'll find 606 articles, so our experience with Rohingya goes back a fair way. What's shameful is the treatment of the Rohingya.


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