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Swiss Man Left Behind as Phuket Rohingya Fled Immigration Cells

Wednesday, August 14, 2013
PHUKET: A Swiss man being held in cells at Phuket's Immigration headquarters decided not to escape with 36 fellow inmates.

The men, Rohingya plucked from a boat in March, burrowed out through a hole behind the toilet at the weekend.

''The Swiss man decided not to escape because he is already scheduled to be deported tomorrow,'' Phuket Immigration Superintendent Colonel Sanchai Chotkayaikij said today.

Two other Rohingya stayed behind when the 36 fled because they couldn't walk. Fifteen of the escapers have since been recaptured and were being presented at court today.

Colonel Sanchai said he wanted to make it clear that the Rohingya men, among passengers on a boatload of more than 100 men, women and children that arrived on Phuket on March 23, faced no charges before the escape.

He showed the Phuket media today through the basic cells where the Rohingya were being held.

''The two who did not escape with the rest have lost the will to walk,'' he said. ''It's hard for them all to deal with the problems of being held indefinitely.''

He said about 2000 Rohingya were being held through Thailand because no policy had been determined by the Thai government.

The main problem for Phuket Immigration and other places where the Rohingya were being held was lack of translators, he said.

''We could not talk to them,'' the colonel said. ''There was a breakdown in communication most of the time.''

When asked by a Phuketwan reporter what the answer should be to continued captivity of the Rohingya in Thailand, he said: ''Bail them into the community.

''Have people who are willing to guarantee their safety and conduct take care of them outside of the cells. Better bail than them going with human traffickers.''

The message being sent to the persecuted Rohingya in Burma - expected to flee in boats in increasing numbers during the next ''sailing season'' from October - was that indefinite detention awaited in Thailand, he said.

Comments

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Very difficult situation, one it is terrible for people to be treated in this way, but two if they are bailed will Thailand be flooded with so many Rohingya seeking to be bailed into Thailand?

Posted by Fiesty Farang on August 14, 2013 11:37

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does phuketwan know who stopped the old system of "everybody knows and drive them down to malaysia"?
that was working better

Posted by jacob on August 14, 2013 15:00

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@jacob.. what an ignorant comment to make.. many of the rohingya who were "just driven down to malaysia" had money extorted from their families or were sold into slavery on thai fishing vessels.. how is this a "better" system??

Posted by another steve on August 14, 2013 15:54

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Being stuck in a cell where you get diseased, muscle wastage and other ailments, or escape. Escape imo is a better option.
This is Guantunamo for the Rohingya's.

Posted by Tbs on August 14, 2013 19:14

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For not escaping, that fine Swiss citizen should be rewarded not only with deportation but a cash compensation sum of at least 500 baht.

Posted by apichart wongsuwan on August 15, 2013 08:37


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