Amnesty International urge Thai authorities not to deport Myanmar nationals

BANGKOK, March 25 (Bernama): Amnesty International has urged Thai authorities not to deport Myanmar nationals back where they could face risk of arrest.

In a statement, Amnesty International’s Myanmar Researcher Nang Sein said Myanmar nationals who had fled across the border still live in fear of being sent back and remain in a limbo.

The researcher said many of those who had fled their homes since the February 2021 coup to seek safety from the Myanmar military’s violent crackdown were in danger simply because they participated in peaceful demonstrations, or because of their political beliefs.

"Thai authorities must not deport Myanmar nationals back to a country where they could face imprisonment, torture, and even the death penalty at the hands of the Myanmar military.

"Thailand has a long history of hosting and providing humanitarian support to refugees across the region. As Myanmar’s neighbour and an Asean member, Thailand can play a leading role by providing much-needed protection to people fleeing repression in Myanmar,” Nang Sein said in a statement.

The researcher said Thai authorities must uphold the principle of non-refoulement enshrined both in international law and its own act on the Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearance.

As a State Party to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Amnesty Thailand said Thailand is obliged not to deport any individuals at risk of irreparable harm.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Thai authorities searched apartments in Mae Sot, Tak Province in Thailand and an estimated 100 people, including children, were interrogated outside their apartments, and later released on the same day.

Since the Feb 2021 military coup that Myanmar’s generals ousted Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government, United Nations(UN) stated that 1.6 million people have been internally displaced and 17.6 million need aid in Myanmar compared with just 1 million before the military coup.

According to UN High Commissioner for Refugees, it is estimated 52,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries.

Myanmar nationals who are fleeing violence and persecution in Myanmar have for many years sought refuge across the border in Thailand, a trend that has continued since the coup.

Amnesty Thailand said an estimated 22,400 people have crossed into Thailand since the coup. - Bernama

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