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Rohingya : rising evidence of genocide

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  • #31

    Sun 16 Nov 2014

    Relatives fear the boats have been pushed out to sea


    Right to block

    Crazy with worry


    • #32
      600 rescued from traffickers in Bay of Bengal
      19 November 2014


      • #33
        Thai fishermen cashing in on human-smuggling
        November 21, 2014



        • #34
          53,000 left Bangladesh and Myanmar on smuggling boats bound for Thailand, Malaysia
          Sunday, 07 December, 2014

          About 53,000 people left Bangladesh and Myanmar on treacherous smuggling boats bound for Thailand and Malaysia this year, the UNHCR said in a report.
          Photo: Reuters

          About 53,000 people left Bangladesh and Myanmar on treacherous smuggling boats bound for Thailand and Malaysia this year, about 540 of them dying on the journey, the UN refugee agency has said.

          The majority are stateless Rohingya Muslims, fleeing ethnic tensions in Myanmar or poor prospects in Bangladesh, as well as Bangladeshis looking for a better life, the UNHCR said in a report.

          Some 50,000 of these left from the Bangladesh-Myanmar border area, 15 per cent more then left between January and November last year, and more than triple the estimated number of departures during the same period in 2012.

          Almost half - 21,000 - of these passengers left the border area in the last two months, a 37 per cent increase compared to October and November last year, the UNHCR said.

          The remaining 3,000 came from the Sittwe area of Myanmar.

          "Several individuals reported incidents of rape and some said they had been trafficked, though the coercive conditions of travel often blurred the distinction between smuggling and trafficking," the report said.

          Rohingya Muslims, viewed by the UN as one of the world's most persecuted minorities, have long fled discrimination and repression in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar. But the flow has accelerated into a growing exodus two years after deadly clashes erupted between Buddhists and Rohingya in Myanmar's Rakhine state, activists say.

          The conditions on board the boats are often dire, with water, food and space in short supply.


          • #35
            More Rohingya And Bangladeshis Set Sail To Southeast Asia
            Manik Mehta

            NEW YORK, Dec 11 (Bernama) -- The outflow of refugees from the Bay of Bengal tends to peak in October with this year alone 21,000 Rohingya and Bangladeshis setting sail to Southeast Asia, with Malaysia and Thailand being their favourite destination.

            The spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) William Spindler said during the latest press briefing this figure accounted for a 37 per cent surge over the same period last year.

            Out of this number, roughly 10 per cent were believed to be women while approximately a third of arrivals interviewed by UNHCR in Thailand and Malaysia were below 18 years of age.

            "The outflow from the Bay of Bengal tend to peak in October, when calmer waters follow the end of the rainy season," Spindler explained adding that "departures this October surged more than in previous years."

            An estimated 120,000 people have embarked on such voyages since early 2012, paying agents sums ranging from US$ 1,600 to US$ 2,400 per head (RM5,500-RM8,500).

            It is also possible that these refugees arrive at a Southeast Asian destination for temporary reprieve and move further to Australia or another developed country to earn the much-coveted refugee status.

            According to the UNHCR's calculations, based on the frequency and costs of the voyage, the clandestine sea trips may have generated nearly US$250 million (RM900 million) in revenue for the smugglers during the last three years alone when refugee numbers peaked.

            Spindler suggested that the rise in refugee figures were caused by the current situation in Myanmar where ethnic tensions and conflict could be forcing the Rohingya, an ethnic minority group, to leave the country.

            However, he also cautioned on the modus operandi employed by smugglers that puts the refugees in danger.

            The majority of people who made the crossings were initially charged very little by the smugglers who. However, upon arrival at their destination, the refugees will be held against their will until their families or relatives paid hefty sum for their release.

            In many cases, the migrants are held in dire conditions, and suffer beatings, torture and rape.

            However, their woes would still not be over even if they were released; they could typically still face potential detention in the country of their arrival, live in constant fear of how to make two ends meet, and even face deportation back to their country of origin.

            Spindler said that it was a situation of concern for the refugees.



            • #36
              Ten Rohingya escape from Thai detention centre

              Illegal immigration and human trafficking remains a serious challenge for the Thai authorities. Here some illegal immigrants from Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, are questioned by Thai tourist police officers at Thonburi Railroad Station, Bangkok February 2, 2007 after they were arrested camping near the railway station.
              Photo: Narong Sangnak/EPA

              Ten Muslim Rohingya people escaped from detention at the Phang Nga immigration office in Southern Thailand on December 22, according to The Nation


              • #37
                Dozens of Rohingya migrants arrested in Thailand
                06 Jan



                • #38
                  Rohingya woman suffocates in truck packed with migrants travelling through Thailand
                  Jan 12, 2015

                  BANGKOK (AFP) - A Rohingya woman has died after suffocating in a truck packed with migrants from the Myanmar Muslim minority group as they travelled through southern Thailand, the police said on Monday.

                  The authorities found five pickup trucks carrying nearly 100 Rohingya before dawn on Sunday in the Hua Sai district of Nakhon Si Thammarat province on the Gulf of Thailand.

                  "There were total 98 Rohingya. Of them, one woman aged around 20 years old died from suffocation while travelling," provincial police commander Kiattipong Khawsamang told AFP.

                  "The truck was crowded and she also had not eaten," Kiattipong said, adding the group was travelling from Phang Nga province on the western seaboard. Two of the pickup drivers have been arrested on suspicion of people-trafficking, he added.



                  • #39
                    Two Thai Drivers Charged With Trafficking '400' Rohingya
                    14 January 2015

                    NAKHON SI THAMMARATDozens of the 98 Rohingya intercepted in Thailand on 11 Jan 2015 are children.

                    Three other Thais suspected of participating in the operation managed to flee before police could detain them.

                    Police say they believe the two men in custody have facilitated the smuggling of "nearly 400" Rohingya, a persecuted Muslim minority from western Myanmar, into Thai territories.

                    If found guilty, the suspects could face up to 15 years in prison.

                    "We have found evidence implicating major businessmen behind this operation, and we also discovered that nearly 400 Rohingya were being trafficked by these smugglers," said Pol.Maj.Gen. Somchai Uamthanorm, deputy commander of 8th Region Police. "Ninety-eight of them were [intercepted] at Hua Sai, but the rest already slipped to Songkhla province."

                    Officers from the Division of Special Investigation (DSI) arrived in Nakhon Si Thammarat province yesterday to assist with the investigation.

                    A DSI agent told reporters he believes "at least two businessmen" were involved in the trafficking of these Rohingya. He added that the Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) is already trying to trace the money trail of the suspected ringleaders.

                    Sutthipong and Sawasdi, the two arrested drivers, reportedly told police they were paid 4,500 baht for each Rohingya they smuggled into Thailand.

                    A police officer at Hua Sai Police Station said the two suspects are "fully cooperating with the police," and have provided useful information.

                    "We are learning about evidence and connections to the ringleaders and coordinators [from the two suspects]. We will issue arrest warrants on them soon," the officer told reporters.

                    Three of the 98 Rohingya have died since they were found in Hua Sai. One woman was found crushed to death at the scene, and two men died in police custody, one from dehydration and another from an infection.

                    The refugees are now being held at a shelter in Hua Sai district. Officials say they have been improving the facility by installing toilets and lighting, and fumigating the area to kill mosquitoes.

                    Peerasak Hinmueanggao, Governor of Nakhon Si Thammarat, said he is deeply saddened by the poor condition the Rohingyas were found in.

                    "The legal prosecution has to go on according to the laws, but humanitarian assistance is the priority," Peerasak said yesterday.

                    As a part of legal procedure, police say they are currently "categorizing" the Rohingya based on whether they left Myanmar voluntarily. According to police, some of them left their homes on their own accord while others were "coerced" by the smugglers.

                    Police say that interpreters, Muslim clerics, and representatives of Rohingya advocacy groups have been allowed to visit the refugees at the shelter.

                    Many Rohingya hail from the Rakhine state of Myanmar, where they are treated as second-class citizens by the predominantly Buddhist local population.

                    Waves of religious and ethnic violence in Rakhine have driven tens of thousands of Rohingya to flee their homes by boats and other means in recent years. It is believed that up to 140,000 Rohingya have been displaced by the anti-Rohingya violence.

                    The Myanmar government refuses to recognize the Rohingya as citizens, claiming that they are from Bangladesh, while Bangladeshi authorities also refuse to grant the group citizenship, effectively making them a "stateless" people.

                    Reports by human rights groups and foreign media agencies have revealed instances of Thai smugglers exploiting the plight of the Rohingya by charging them exuberant fees in exchange for promises of a safe passage to another country.

                    In addition, many Rohingya never make it to their final destination, often set as Malaysia, because they are held for ransom in Thailand or sold as slaves to boats in the Thai fishing industry.

                    In 2014, the United States downgraded Thailand to the lowest rank in its annual report on human trafficking, noting that Thai authorities have failed to provide adequate protection to the Rohingya, despite repeated recommendations.

                    The report also alleged that some members of the Thai police and military have participated in the trafficking of the Rohingya refugees.



                    • #40
                      Thai police investigate Rohingya trafficking deaths
                      23 Jan

                      Illegal Rohingya migrants arrested in Ranong province, Thailand, January 27, 2009.
                      Photo: EPA

                      A Thai police investigation into the deaths of three Muslim Rohingya migrants being trafficked illegally through the country continued January 21 when a group of rescued people identified the cars used to transport them, according to a report in The NationMizzima


                      • #41
                        Reunions and ransoms play out in Rohingya camp's Internet hut
                        Andrew R C Marshall

                        In this teeming camp for displaced Rohingya Muslims in western Myanmar, it's easy to overlook the internet huts. The raw emotion they generate is much harder to ignore.People use a computer in an internet hut in Thae Chaung village.
                        (Reuters photo)The faces of some of the Rohingya Muslims who celebrate reunions and agonise over ransoms via Internet video calls from a hut in their village in Thae Chaung, Myanmar.
                        (Reuters photos)A motorcycle passes as a man speaks at a computer in an internet hut in Thae Chaung village.
                        (Reuters photo)


                        • #42
                          Eight years for Rohingya leaders is injustice, says lawyer
                          ALEX BOOKBINDER
                          16 March 2015

                          Local Rohingyas stand on a road in Aung Mingalar, Sittwe
                          (Lux Capio Photography) DVB.


                          • #43
                            Thailand: Mass Graves of Rohingya Found in Trafficking Camp
                            May 1, 2015

                            Independent Investigation Needed to Determine Facts, Prosecute Traffickers

                            Rescue workers transport one of the bodies found at an abandoned camp in Thailand's southern Songkhla province on May 1, 2015.

                            Brad Adams, Asia director
                            Thailand should urgently press the government to end official complicity and willful blindness in rampant trafficking in the country.

                            On May 1, 2015, a joint military-police taskforce discovered at least 30 bodies at an abandoned human trafficking camp in the Sadao district of Songkhla province close to the Thai-Malaysian border. Many were buried in shallow graves, while others were covered with blankets and clothes and left in the open. Police reports indicate the dead are ethnic Rohingya Muslims from Burma and Bangladesh who starved to death or died of disease while held by traffickers who were awaiting payment of ransoms before smuggling them into MalaysiaBrad Adams


                            • #44
                              Over 100 Rohingya migrants found in south Thailand
                              Saturday 9 May 2015

                              Rescued: Migrants sit after they were detained by police in the southern Thai province of Songkhla on Friday.



                              • #45
                                Rescuers save 469 boat people off Indonesia's Aceh: Official
                                May 10, 2015

                                JAKARTA (AFP) - Rescuers Sunday saved 469 boat people from Myanmar and Bangladesh who were stranded in waters off northern Indonesia, an official said.

                                "We received a report from fishermen this morning that there were boat people stranded in the waters off north Aceh," Aceh provincial search and rescue chief Budiawan told AFP.

                                "We despatched teams there and evacuated 469 migrants who are Rohingya from Myanmar and Bangladeshis. There are women and children among them. So far, all of them are safe," he added.

                                (This story is developing.)