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THAILAND: Fears for safety of pro-democracy Burmese activists in Thailand

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  • Ken and Visakha Kawasaki
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 22, 2002
      "THAILAND: Fears lives of pro-democracy Burmese activists in Thailand"


      Forwarded Appeal 22 August 2002
      FA-11-2002: Fears lives of pro-democracy Burmese activists in Thailand

      THAILAND: Fear of life; the arrest and deportation of Burmese exiles

      Dear Friends,

      The following is an urgent appeal from the Asian Forum for Human Rights and
      Development (Forum-Asia), based in Bangkok,
      regarding the crackdown on dissidents and pro-democracy activists who have
      defected from the Burmese military junta regi
      me. The Thai authorities arrested 31 Burmese nationals (But Forum-Asia
      claims a total of 34 were arrested) who were char
      ged with illegal entry in the border district of Sankhlaburi in
      Kanchanaburi province on Tuesday.

      However, the action is widely believed to be linked to Burma's
      preconditions for reopening its border with Thailand. The
      re will be Thai-Burmese talks scheduled for early next month, with
      reopening the border high on the agenda. We are sure
      if the arrested were sent back to Burma, they would be detained, tortured,
      and finally killed by the Burmese junta.

      AHRC is requesting you to take action to prevent the arrested from being
      sent back forcibly to Burma and to prevent any
      further crackdown on other activists in the border areas, and to ask the
      Thai authorities to allow legal representatives
      access to the detainees as soon as possible.

      Thank you for your action.

      Urgent Appeals Desk
      Asian Human Rights Commission


      For immediate release


      Fears for lives of pro-democracy activists arrested on Thai/Burma border.
      21 August 2002

      Pro-democracy activists taking refuge from persecution by the SPDC, Burma's
      military government, were arrested yesterday
      by Thai police who charged them with illegal entry. The activists are
      being held in the remote town of Sankhlaburi in K
      anchanaburi province on the Thai/Burma border from where they can easily be
      forced back into Burma.

      Most of the activists are wanted by the SPDC. The Burmese embassy in Bankok
      has already called the Sangklaburi police st
      ation asking whetherthere were any NLD members in custody, according to an
      official at the station.

      The group includes members of the following pro-democracy groups, as well
      as approximately 20 adults and children attend
      ing a Baptist Church run Bible study/english class: National League for
      Democracy (Liberated Area) (NLD LA); Democratic
      Party for a New Society (DPNS); All Burma Student'S Democratic Front
      (ABSDF); Mon Youth Progressive Organisation (MYPO);
      People'S Democratic Front (PDF) and the Karen National Union (KNU).

      If people from these organisations are forcibly returned to Burma they will
      be handed over directly to SPDC troops, wher
      e they will be detained, tortured and are likely to be killed.

      Ms. Nan Nay Chi Oo of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy was
      separated from her 1-year-old child during th
      e arrest.

      At least three activists were reported to be carrying cards issued by the
      UNHCR. Most of the activists have been working
      from Thailand to promote democracy and reconciliation in Burma openly for
      several years with the full knowledge of the
      police and immigration.

      The timing of the arrests suggests that the raids were part of a crackdown
      meant to placate Burma's military government
      as a precondition for the reopening of Thai/Burma border checkpoints, the
      closure of which have cost Thai traders heavil

      Forum-Asia asks the Thai Government to intervene in the matter to allow
      legal representatives access to the detainees an
      d to put a hold on deportations. Forum-Asia believes that by deporting
      activists back to Burma, Thailand will be placing economic interests before
      human lives and eroding its international re
      putation as a country dedicated to democratization in the region.

      Names of those arrested:
      Democratic Party for a New Society DPNS
      - Aung Kyaw Soe (regional representative)
      - Thien Lwin
      - Wunna

      National Leaugue for Democracy-Liberated Area (NLD LA)
      - Aung San Nyunt, 35 yrs (regional representative)
      - Zaw Weik 44 yrs
      - Ms. Nan Nay Chi 26 yrs (seperated from her 1 (?) year old child, who
      was left outside)

      All Burma Student's Democratic Front (ABSDF)
      - Thien Lwin (Deputy Regional representative)
      - Htet Khaing and Wife (librarian)
      - Ms. Khin Moe Way
      - Mem Thet San

      Mon Youth Progressive Organisation (MYPO)
      - Ms. Mi Li Tanyar Mon
      - Nai Mon Kyai Hlaing

      People'S Democratic Front (PDF)
      - Aung Htoo

      Karen National Union (KNU)
      - Ms. Naw Kha Yu

      Bible Class of Baptist Church
      - 20 People


      For further information or comments please contact Somchai Homlaor,
      Secretary General Forum Asia on 66-2-276 9846 or info@...

      *** Please send a copy of your letter to AHRC Urgent Appeals:
      Email: <ua@...>
      Fax: +(852) - 26986367

      Please contact the Urgent Appeals coordinator if you require more
      information or wish to report human rights violations.
      AHRC Urgent Appeals Programme
      Asian Human Rights Commission
      Unit D, 7th Floor, Mongkok Commercial Centre,
      16 - 16B Argyle Street, Kowloon, HONGKONG
      Tel: +(852) - 2698-6339
      Fax: +(852) - 2698-6367
      E-mail: ua@...

      Please contact the AHRC Urgent Appeals Coordinator if you require
      further information or to make requests for further appeals.



      Please visit our newly established websites!

      Buddhist Relief Mission <http://www.brelief.org>
      Burmese Relief Center--USA <http://www.brelief.net>
      Relief Notes 2002 <http://home.earthlink.net/~brelief/>
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