THAILAND – Approximately 1,300 Rohingya muslims who were detained in immigration detention centres and shelters across Thailand since January last year were deported to Burma three months ago, reported the Bangkok Post.
Thailand’s Immigration Bureau commissioner Pharnu Kerdlarpphon said that the Rohingya people were deported with the cooperation of Thai and Burmese authorities.
Pharnu said provincial immigration officers took detained Rohingya to Ranong Immigration Office before accompanying them to get on boats, taking them to Koh Son in Burma, a neighbouring province of Ranong. The deportation process ended three months ago.
‘’We deported them under an international principle but after each deportation we don’t have a chance of knowing where they will be taken,’’ he said. Pharnu insisted both Thai and Burmese authorities made the process of the deportation clear and straightforward.
Burmese authorities recorded the number of Rohingya people deported one after another to Burma, officially known as Myanmar, and the two countries had evidence of each deportation.
Doctors from the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) had travelled to check their physical health almost every week. If they were severely ill, they would be sent to receive medical treatment at local hospitals.
He said that among the 1,300 Rohingya, eight people died of various diseases, and one of them a blood infection.
Thousands of Rohingya, described by the United Nations as among the world’s most persecuted minorities, have fled sectarian violence in western Myanmar in rickety boats since 2012, mostly heading for Malaysia.
Many of those who arrived in Thai waters were locked up in overcrowded immigration prisons.