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    Nameless Graves Mark the End of Tortured Existence for Rohingya in Thailand

    A final resting place ends long and cruel treatment for five Rohingya

    By Chutima Sidasathian and Alan
    Morison

    PhuketWan

    February 12, 2014

    PHUKET: Five boatpeople, victims
    of Thailand’s traffickers, were buried in a Songkhla village yesterday while
    others continue to suffer disease and cramped conditions in secret jungle
    ”animal pens” or official confinement.
    Local Muslim authorities say that
    deaths from diseases and severe conditions are likely to continue until
    Thailand’s government recognises that thousands of Rohingya, being smuggled
    through Thailand, should be accorded basic human rights.
    ”The men we buried today were
    aged 16 to 40,” said Isma-Aen Mat-Adam, of the Rohingya Help Network in
    Thailand. ”All of them died after being ‘rescued’ from the secret jungle
    traffickers’ camps. Hospitals could not save them
    ”These deaths show how bad the
    conditions are in the jungle camps and in Thailand’s detention centres.”
    The men had been confined by Thai
    authorities and by traffickers in a serial rights abuse since January last
    year.
    In the hospital, where doctors
    and nurses tried to save the men from the ravages caused by constant cramped
    confinement at the hands of Thai officials and traffickers, the nameless dead
    men were recorded on official documents as ”Rohingya One,” ”Rohingya Two,”
    ”Rohingya Three” . . .
    The first man died on January 30.
    Another perished on February 1. The third death followed on February 2. Two
    more came on February 4 . . . it’s likely their family and friends are among
    more than 700 Rohingya still being held in southern Thailand.
    The boatpeople were ”rescued”
    by Thai authorities late last month from two secret jungle camps, little more
    than animal pens with earthen floors and no room for the captives to stretch or
    stand.
    Twenty-four men who were unable
    to walk were left after the ”rescue” to fend for themselves in the jungle at
    one corral site, said the Chairman of the Muslim Committee of Songkhla
    province, Sakkeeya Binsala.
    For many, it was the second time
    in the traffickers’ camps, having been previously ”rescued” in January last
    year then confined for all the intervening months in cramped Immigration or
    police cells before being ”deported” into the arms of waiting traffickers.
    And around they go again, seeking
    sanctuary in Malaysia . . . but finding only a kind of hell in Thailand.
    Wrapped in white shrouds and
    buried by local residents, the five fresh anonymous graves at the village near
    Sadao now bear silent witness to the fate of the stateless in Thailand.

    A final resting place ends long and cruel treatment for five Rohingya