74 Burmese migrants found lost, starving in Thai forest

Source DVB, 11 May

Some of the 74 Burmese migrants who were left by smugglers in the central Thai forest without food. (PHOTO: DVB)

Some of the 74 Burmese migrants who were left by smugglers in the central Thai forest without food. (PHOTO: DVB)

More than 70 Burmese nationals, apparently smuggled into Thailand by human traffickers, have been found starving in the forest in the country’s central Chumphon province.

Thai officials who rescued the migrants said they were lost and had not eaten for three days.

A resident in the village of Nai Ngon in Chumphon District, some 475 kilometres south of Bangkok and situated close to the Burmese port town of Ranong, said 28 migrants were found in the woods next to the village on the morning on 8 May and 46 more were found on 9 May.

“On Friday morning, six of them came to the village and indicated that they were starving so we collected some food and gave it to them,” she said.

According to the villager, the migrants told them they were smuggled into Thailand overland by four traffickers carrying automatic rifles. They said they each paid 7,000 baht (over US$200) to be smuggled from Ranong to Malaysia, but had travelled for three days by foot before they were left behind in the woods with no food.

Some 50 local Thai police officers have since been deployed to search for the migrant’s hideout.

The 74 migrants are reported to be between the ages of 12 and 44, and include six women. Thai officials said four of the women say they were raped by the traffickers, and that a 32-year-old women and her child had been abducted by the gang.

4,000 Fishermen Enslaved In Indonesian Islands, Forced To Fish For U.S. Seafood Dinners

Source Inquisitr, 28 March

image: http://cdn.inquisitr.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Fisher-665×385.jpeg

4,000 fishermen enslaved in remote Indonesian islands

Nearly 4,000 fishermen are stranded on remote Indonesian islands and many have been made into slaves and forced to work for the seafood industry serving American dinner tables, according to an investigation by the Associated Press.

An AP special report released earlier this week said many of the fishermen were foreigners from Myanmar who migrated to Thailand for work but have now found themselves captured as slaves, beaten and forced to work for their captors.

One former slave spoke to the AP, which is not releasing the names of the men for their safety.

“This is the worst moment in our life right now. It is even worse than being in hell. We have to work every day to survive… There is no hope for us anymore.”

The slaves are kept in small cages made of wood and metal barely large enough to lie down in, and they live on a few bites of rice and curry a day, according to NPR.

Fish caught by the slaves are mixed with others at processing plants and can make its way into the American food chain and be found at local grocery stores across the country. It could be included in pet food or turn up as fine dining in restaurants, according to the New York Post.

This happens because little attention is paid to the labor market in the world’s seafood industry.

The fishermen stranded on the remote Indonesian islands who aren’t slaves have been abandoned for years or decades and forced to work for food or pocket change to survive.

The number of stranded fishermen abandoned on these islands by their boat captains has dramatically increased after Indonesia passed a moratorium on foreign fishing five months ago, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The men are forced to work as fishermen in some of the world’s best fishing grounds, as dockworkers loading and unloading the day’s catch and in the timber industry cutting and sawing logs.

“Our body is here but our mind is at home. If it was possible to walk back home, we would do it right away. Our lives have no more value than a dog.”

The AP spent a year conducting this special report and worked with the International Organization for Migration as well as Indonesia’s new Fisheries Minister, who pledged to crack down on the practice.

The AP focused its attention on the island of Benjina, but trapped, stranded, and enslaved fisherman can be found in many of Indonesia’s remote islands. Saturday, 21 fishermen were rescued from the island of Ambon after being abused by human traffickers, according to Pattaya Mail.

Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/1962867/4000-fishermen-enslaved-in-indonesian-islands-forced-to-fish-for-us-seafood-dinners/#53GkTZvgfzMtsELq.99

Burmese navy to help repatriate 100 jailed migrants from Malaysia

Source DVB, 22 March

File photo of migrants detained in Malaysia. (Amnesty International)

File photo of migrants detained in Malaysia. (Amnesty International)

More than 100 migrant workers arrested and detained in Malaysia are to be repatriated by the Burmese navy, a government statement said on Friday.

The migrants will be brought home on 25 March aboard the Maha Thiha Thura, which has been participating in an international maritime and airshow at Langkawi, Malaysia, from 17- 21 March.

Most of the 100-plus migrants were arrested for visa overstay and have been detained in prison for around three months, said Thiha Kyaw, a source close to the Burmese embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

UPP detains 76 illegal immigrants at Bukit Kayu Hitam

Source thestar, 16 Dec

Noor Mohamed (sitting right) questioning one of the Myanmar national detained at Bukit Kayu Hitam.

Noor Mohamed (sitting right) questioning one of the Myanmar national detained at Bukit Kayu Hitam.

BUKIT KAYU HITAM: The Anti-Smuggling Unit (UPP) detained 76 Myanmar illegal immigrants in a raid on an unoccupied house in Kampung Padang Satu, here Tuesday.

Kedah UPP deputy commander (operation) Noor Mohamed Shaik Alauddin said a team raided the house at 9am after receiving information from the public.

On inspection, 65 male and seven female did not possess travel documents while four other men had expired travel documents.

The Myanmar illegali mmigrants were between 17 to 61 years old.

They were brought from Johor Baharu, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kulim by a syndicate run by a Myanmar who stayed here for some time.

He said each illegal immigrant was charged between RM500 and RM950 to be smuggled out of the country.

"The Myanmar immigrants usually stay illegally in this country between two to three years. They want to get out to escape the massive operation against illegals," he told a press conference at the UPP Office, here.

Noor Mohamed said the illegal immigrants were gathered in the house since last night after fetched by the syndicate in Changlun after arrival by bus.

The 76 Myanmar illegals were detained under Section 6(1)(c) of Immigration Act 1959/63 (amended 2002) while four others were detained under Section 15 (1) (c) of Immigration Act 1959/63 (amended 2002) for overstaying in the country.

The case will be handed over to the Immigration Department for futher action.

The UPP detained 274 illegal immigrants in Kedah from Jan 1 to Dec 15 and most of them were Myanmar nationals. – Bernama

Refugees angry with UNHCR over paucity of help

Source Asianage, 17 Sept

Rohingya children at Madanpur KhadarRohingya children at Madanpur Khadar

Foreign refugees in India have a long list of complaints against the UNHCR on various grounds such as issuance of I-cards, financial assistance, differential treatment between refugees and neglect.

On refugees, the UNHCR and the Indian government have a division of labour, says the UNHCR chief of mission in India, Dominik Bartsch.

Rohingyas are critical of the agency for its better treatment of Chins (Myanmarese Christians who are relatively well-off in Delhi) vis-à-vis health, education and financial aid.

Somalians pillory it for corruption and neglect. Kassim, a Somalian blogger and freelance journalist, claims that the UNHCR has been a mute spectator to the privations of his compatriots, who are starving to death for want of financial assistance in India.

At Madanpur Khadar in New Delhi, almost no Rohingya family get any subsistence allowance, reveals a UNHRC source. Initially, they were given around Rs 1,000-2,000 per month, depending on their vulnerability, the source adds.

On the issue of subsistence allowance, Mr Bartsch notes that around 10-20 per cent of the UNHCR-assisted refugees get monetary help. “You have to recognise that we have not been able to provide support in a wholesome manner to all the refugees. We are only able to provide direct assistance to those who are most vulnerable. It is a small minority, around 10-20 per cent, who receive direct assistance from the UNHCR and get something tangible. For the majority, our support is around livelihoods, including vocational training with our partners to prepare refugees for jobs.”

When asked about differential treatment between Chins and Rohingyas, Mr Bartsch says the term was an emotive one and denied discrimination by the UNHCR.

“Chins and Rohingyas are living in different circumstances. The former have been living in India for long; hence, they have a strong community network. When it comes to Rohingyas, many of them are recent arrivals and they are not all residing in Delhi. We have not been able to reach all of them in the various sites outside Delhi,” he explained.

Hitting out at the UNHCR, a Rohingya mocks, “If the UNHCR is not able to reach out to non-Delhi refugees how can they claim to cover the whole world?”

Rohingyas also claim that the agency does nothing to prevent human trafficking, bonded-labour and prostitution.

“Our compatriots are languishing in Kolkata jails. If the (refugee) agency strives to get them freed, the jail authorities will listen to it; but it has no will-power in this regard,” complains a Rohingya source.

Another UNHCR official reveals that six Rohingyas girls (aged 18-21) were trafficked four months ago for sex trade in Delhi, of which two died during a gangrape. The version could not be authenticated independently.

Similar modern-day slavery cases are rampant in India. “When Rohingya slaves from far-flung areas come to Delhi for UNHCR cards, they tell their harrowing tales to the agency. It means that the UNHCR is familiar with sex trade and slavery cases. But it does nothing to improve the situation,” the source added.

Another thorny issue is related to visa overstay penalties on refugees. “How can Indian government charge us for visa overstay especially when we are uncertain about our next meal?” is an oft-repeated complaint.

“Legislation is needed to define the status of refugees and make it compatible with the Foreigner’s Act, which is in black and white: A person has either arrived legally in the country or illegally; there is no provision for someone to explain why he was obliged to run away,” notes Mr Bartsch.

Tarnishing of Rohingya in theSundaily news

By Admin: The writter of the below article has no idea that in deed no one utilize own identity in such nature. it is just some group mis-using to tarnish the name ‘Rohingya’.


Rohingya ransom racket

Posted on 1 September 2014 – 09:22pm

Months after his horrific ordeal, the victim remains scarred and traumatised. SUNPIX

WHILE most Rohingya asylum-seekers in Malaysia are bona fide, some have taken to crime, including kidnapping for ransom. At times, the targets are their own Myanmar countrymen, as CHARLES RAMENDRAN found out after an exclusive interview with one of the victims.

KUALA LUMPUR: When Myanmar refugee Hung Za (not his real name) stepped out for lunch on Aug 20, little did he know that his life would later literally be hanging by a rope.

The lean and small-built foreigner was snatched by a group of kidnappers, comprising his own countrymen.

Relating the incident to theSun, the 26-year-old United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) status holder, who arrived here a decade ago and speaks fluent Bahasa Malaysia, was heading to a restaurant in Jalan Tun Tan Siew Sin at about 1pm when two men grabbed him and pushed him into a car.

"There were two others, the driver and another passenger in the car. I was stunned but I struggled to escape. Then I felt a strong electric shock running through my whole body. I tried to shout for help but my voice froze. They were using a stun gun and used it over and over again until I turned numb. Then they tied my hands, blindfolded me and drove around for hours while punching and kicking me repeatedly. As they spoke in our Myanmar language, I knew they were Rohingyas," said the soft-spoken Myanmar, who is a Christian and lay leader of a Myanmar church in Pudu.

After nightfall, the men met another accomplice. Hung Za was moved into another car and taken to a wooden house where his blindfold was removed and he was beaten up again.

He was then bundled into a third car and taken to another location where his ordeal got worse. He was led into a dimly-lit room and this was where Hung Za felt he was going to die.

"I could barely walk and my face was badly swollen. I believe it was a factory and the kidnappers probably worked there as they could access the place. I was shocked when I saw another two Myanmar men who were blindfolded and had their limbs bound. They were also badly beaten and bleeding. I was taken into a room where they kicked me to the ground and pushed a face towel into my mouth until I felt it lodging in my throat. Then one of them put a noose around my neck.
He flung the other end of the rope over a beam in the ceiling and pulled on it very hard. My body was tugged upright. I was choking and I thought it was the end. Then he eased the rope and I fell to the ground. He repeated this many times over the next few hours. They were high on drugs and they never slept a wink throughout. They looked scary and moved around like zombies," said Hung Za, who works in a restaurant.

As the torture continued, an assailant called the victim’s cousin, also a UNHCR refugee here, and demanded a ransom of RM10,000.

Several calls were made and each time the men would assault him to have his cousin hear his cries. It was close to midnight but his cousin telephoned several church members and related what had happened. About 20 friends chipped in and the ransom was raised within an hour.

They were then told to leave the cash at a given location. However, Hung Za’s cousin went with a few friends. The kidnappers, who watched from afar, played it safe and kept away. For that, Hung Za suffered more beatings.

The men told him that they were sparing his life because of his ethnicity. They showed him a blood-soaked bedsheet, claiming they had killed the two other victims Hung Za had seen earlier.

"We slit their throats and cut up their bodies. This is what we do for a living. You are lucky you are a Chin and not a Rakhine Buddhist (or else) we would have killed you like the other two. You should know we Rohingyas love eating human flesh," said an assailant.

Hung Za said he never saw the other two Myanmar victims again.

The next morning, the victim’s cousin was told to deposit the cash into a bank account, after which Hung Za was released in the city.

The victim was so traumatised that he remained in his room for three days before seeking treatment. At the hospital, police learned of Hung Za’s case and promptly recorded his statement.

"I was in immense pain. My jaw and face were so swollen that I could not even talk properly. I was just too scared to go out. The assailants seemed to know everything about us and our movements. They forced me to reveal my address and other personal details at knife-point and warned me they would return to kill me if I reported this to the police," he said.

It took hours of persuasion and reassurance by a Malaysian friend before he agreed to seek medical treatment at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital, where he was warded for his injuries and discharged a day later.

Five arrested

Within a day after recording Hung Za’s statement, a police team led by Dang Wangi district CID chief DSP M. Gunalan swung into action, arresting a 22-year-old female suspect in Penang.

It was the bank account of this Malaysian woman that the suspects had used for the ransom payout.

She led police to the arrest of three main suspects.

They were all picked up in Selayang and several other locations in the city.

Police also arrested the Myanmar wife of one of the suspects in Penang.

It is learnt that one of the male suspects nabbed was allegedly behind at least two murder cases that occurred in Selayang a few months ago.

However, the Myanmar who was armed with a stun gun during the abduction remains at large.

Dang Wangi acting police chief ACP Rasdi Ramli said the suspects are under a remand order for investigations.

"We are tracking down the last suspect and hope to capture him soon," he said.

Investigators believe the gang was involved in more than a dozen cases of crimes on foreigners but many may have gone unreported.

Australian High Court hears details of missing asylum seekers

Source Greenleft, 19 July

Photo via Refugee Rights Action Network WA/RRAN.org

The case of 153 asylum seekers from Sri Lanka taken into Australian custody at sea returned to the High Court on July 18. Due to government secrecy, court proceedings have so far been the only reliable source of information about what is happening to the group.

Documents submitted to the High Court on July 17 revealed further details about the conditions in which 153 Tamil asylum seekers are being held. Lawyers representing 86 of those taken aboard an Australian Customs ship but not brought to Australia say the asylum seekers have not been able to make any formal refugee claims.


Their exact location is still unknown. Before the High Court challenge, immigration minister Scott Morrison refused to even confirm the group existed, staying secret on the basis of “operational security”. Once the court forced him to confirm they were in Australian custody, he refused to reveal more because “the matter is before the court ”.

Neither the United Nations nor the Senate have been able to find out more about what is happening to them. The Refugee Action Coalition believes they were transferred to the ACV Ocean Protector, a Customs ship reportedly set up to hold 120 extra passengers.

The court document has now revealed more. It said the women and children, including a two-year-old, are being held separately to the men in windowless locked rooms on the ship.

“They have no freedom of movement,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported. “[They] can only leave their rooms in the presence of those guarding them, and do not know who the guards are, the document says.

“It also reveals that their possessions, including any mobile phones, were seized when they were detained, and asserts they are being denied ‘reasonable access’ to legal advice.”

The Guardian said the document also revealed “they have had no opportunity to deliver their protection claims – despite all claiming to be refugees – and had no access to a qualified translator despite almost all being unable to speak English”.


The document also confirmed that all those on board are Tamils, most of whom likely have legitimate refugee claims. Tamil Refugee Council spokesperson Aran Mylvaganam told the ABC that 11 of the 153 had been tortured by the Sri Lankan military.

"They fled Sri Lanka to a refugee camp in India and from there got on a boat and came to Australia,” he said. “If they are handed over to the Sri Lankan authorities we are certain their lives are in danger.

"Those who have been tortured in the past are at higher risk of facing more problems of the Sri Lanka intelligence agency. We are very worried.

"We have now got more information about these refugees and we know that if we don’t keep an eye on them, the Sri Lankan authorities will torture them."

At least 37 of those on board are children aged between two and 16.


The lawyers acting for the refugees say they are challenging the legality of Australia sending them back to Sri Lanka or to offshore detention on Manus Island or Nauru. So the outcome of the case will determine this.

After issuing an injunction stopping the forced return of the asylum seekers to Sri Lanka, the High Court ordered the government to give 72 hours’ notice before any deportation.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he does not intend to turn them over to the Sri Lankan navy. But the government has already handed over a group of 41 asylum seekers to Sri Lanka, where the 28 men, four women, seven boys and two girls now face criminal charges.

However, Sri Lanka’s high commissioner to Australia, Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, told ABC News 24 his country would not take the group: "I can categorically deny and reject any plans of Sri Lanka to take over the suspected, speculated, presumed asylum seekers coming from India.”

India has also reportedly shown resistance to accepting the refugees back. More than 100,000 Sri Lankan Tamils live as refugees in India, many in camps described by aid workers as “poor to adequate”. IRIN news say some refugees “live in thatched huts, others in small cement block houses; water and sanitation are problematic in the more remote camps”.

Sri Lankan Tamils living outside the camps generally live in poverty without citizenship rights or welfare support.

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130,000 Myanmar refugees to go home

Source Bangkokpost, 12 July

Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha AP.

Thailand and Mynamar will work together to send more than 130,000 Myanmar refugees back to their home country, National Council for Peace and Order Prayuth Chan-ocha says.

Speaking on his weekly Return Happiness to the People TV show yesterday, Gen Prayuth said he discussed the issue with Myanmar Supreme Commander Gen Min Aung Hlaing during his visit to Thailand last week.

Gen Prayuth said Thailand and Myanmar will work together to facilitate the return to Myanmar of the refugees.

The two countries will ensure the refugees will return safely to Myanmar in compliance with humanitarian principles, Gen Prayuth said.

The two countries have also agreed to cooperate over the nationality verification of Rohingya immigrants.

Reply Reply to all Forward

Victims of Ethnic Cleansing in Modern Day Concentration Camps of Burma/Myanmar

Press released by NDPHR(exile),

Pl find the report of-

“Victims of Ethnic Cleansing in Modern Day Concentration Camps of  Burma/Myanmar” by clicking the link..  Roh and Kaman in Getto



Press released by MERHROM, 22 June

World Refugee Day is celebrated every year to commemorate the struggles of refugees who forced to flee their country due to war, conflict and human rights abuses. Every year the numbers of refugees and asylum seekers are increasing. According to the United Nations report, to date more than 50 million people worldwide currently refugees, asylum seekers or internally displaced persons within their own countries. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) facing great challenges to cope with the current situation where the numbers are increasing tremendously for the past few years due to war and conflict in some particular countries.

The world effort to reduct the conflict is very little compared to the huge numbers of refugees and asylum seekers who suffered from endless human rights abuses around the world.

We the minority ethnic Rohingya in Myanmar become the victims of genocide for more than 6 decades. The United Nations has announced the ethnic Rohingya as the most prosecuted ethnic in the world. But what the United Nations and the World Leaders do to stop the genocide? Until now they are not able to stop the genocide. We are dying and living in hardship day by day and waiting when the situation will change.

While the International communities continuously urge the United Nations, Super Power Countries, World Leaders, ASEAN and OIC to intervene with the Myanmar government to stop the genocide against minority Rohingya, non of them can do so.

Why can’t the United Nations and the Super Power Countries stop the war and conflict around the world? The problem is the United Nations and the Super powers do not want to resolve the issue for their own interest. We are very much frustrated to see the United Nations as the most mandated body in the world fail to stop the genocide agaist minority Rohingya in Myanmar. We hope for the Super Power Countries to use their influence to increase pressure to Myanmar government to stop the genocide against stateless Rohingya but our lives does not matter to them.
There is no political will to stop the killing and human rights abuses towards minority Rohingya.

The United Nations and the Super Power Countries must work towards reducing war and conflict around the world rather than looking for more budgets to cope with the increase numbers of refugees.

We regret to see how the ASEAN react to the plights of Rohingya. The ASEAN do not able to face the Myanmar government to stop the Genocide towards ethnic minority. The failure of ASEAN to deal with Myanmar government has serious impact on the ASEAN members. The refugees and the asylum seekers forced to flee Myanmar and seek refuge in neigboring countries especially Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Non of these countries have sign the 1951 Refugee Convention. Meaning there is no protection guarantee for the refugees and asylum seekers who seeking refuge in those countries. We are not allow to work, our children could not go to formal school and we have to pay higher fees for the hospitalization and treatment.

We have a big hope for the OIC members to deal with the Myanmar government to stop the genocide but we are still hoping until now. While hoping hundreds or even thousand of us have died in our homeland or in transit countries.

What else can we hope? How long can we hope? So many issues are not resolved.

While we thankful to the Malaysian government for giving us the place to stay temporarily, we still have some major issues that we always bring to the attention of the Malaysian government. That includes the rights to work, rights to formal education, rights to health and others. We are strugling day by day to feed our families. As the Malaysian government did not give us the permission to work, we have to work illegally and we have to face the Malaysian law for working illegaly.

Currently there are huge numbers of Rohingya asylum seekers fail to register themselves at the UNHCR office. We do not understand why the UNHCR take a lengthy time to register ethnic Rohingya. As a result there are huge numbers of Rohingya in police lock-ups, prisons and dentention camps throughout Malaysia. Most of them have major health problem due to their background. The United Nations has already well known the plight of Rohingya in Myanmar especially after the attack on minority Rohingya in June 2012. However the registration process is very slow and this put them at high risk of arrest.

We are frustrated with the slow registration process by the UNHCR office in Kuala Lumpur for the ethnic Rohingya. We put our lives in great danger when we flee our country to seek protection in neigboring countries. When we reached the UNHCR office we face the hardship to register ourselves with them.

We have to wait for many years for the registration process and meanwhile many were arrested by the authorities. As a result thousands of Rohingya currently detain in detention camps. Some Rohingya died in the detention camps and suffered from serious diseases.

Next week the Muslims around the world will be fasting in the month of Ramadhan. Lots of our Mosques and Madrasah has been burnt especially after the conflict in June 2012. Our religious rights has been taken away by the Myanmar government as they closing the Mosques and do not allow us to perform our religious duties.

For the upcoming Holy month of Ramadhan, we are hoping that the UNHCR and Malaysian government could release the Rohingya in detentions so that they also can perform the religious duties in better condition. Back home we do not know how our families can go through the month of Ramadhan as the Myanmar government continuously prosecute us in different ways. We are not allow to perform prayers at Mosqeus what else prayers in the month of Ramadhan. We feel very sad as we could not perform our religious duties in our home land.

While the United Nations and World Leaders highlighting the refugee issues arround the world, the plight of Rohingya refugees are always left behind. We are the forgotton one though the United Nations themselves categories the Rohingya as the most prosecuted ethnic in the world.

We only ask for one thing from the United Nations, Super Power Countries, ASEAN, OIC and International Communities at large. Please STOP the Genocide towards minority Rohingya.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Zafar Ahmad Bin Abdul Ghani
Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia (MERHROM)
Tel No: +6016-6827287
Blog: www.merhrom.wordpress.com
Email: rights4rohingya
Email: rights4rohingyas


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