Human rights in Thailand are appalling. That’s why Thailand is on the list of the worst human rights abusers by Human Rights Watch year after year after year. So, to see a video showing Rohingya Muslim refugees being kept in dirty cages in detention centers in Thailand this week — no, not surprising at all unfortunately.
The British TV news channel, Channel 4 News, filmed an expose on Rohingya Muslim refugees in Thailand by visiting an immigration lock up in the south. The six-minute news story shows Rohingya refugees, who fled increasing violence and death in Burma with hopes for a safer life in Thailand, being kept in dirty cages in massively overcrowded detention centers. That it’s disgusting how the Thai authorities are treating them is an understatement.
The Channel 4 News team filmed the story at an immigration detention center in Phang Nga in southern Thailand. Of course, they filmed secretly as the Thai authorities wouldn’t want this type of human rights abuses in Thailand getting out. Thankfully, however, it did.
The cages at this particular immigration detention center in Thailand were built to hold 5-15 men. They currently hold 276 Rohingya, who have been incarcerated there for five months. They are not allowed any exercise or to leave the cages, so many of them already have muscles that are atrophying. Many others are sick. Some of the men even want to commit suicide.
This is, unfortunately, not the first time Rohingya refugees have been treated badly in Thailand. In fact, Thailand is known for the appalling way it treats them.
Earlier in the year, a BBC team documented evidence of Thai military and police selling Rohingya refugees to people traffickers — yep, police and military members selling people. Lovely isn’t it?
That’s why, if you care about the way Rohingya refugees are being treated in Thailand, you should contact the office of the President of the United States, the British prime minister, or the office of your own country’s leader.
I say this as it’s absolutely pointless contacting the Thai government. They already know there is a problem. They do absolutely nothing about it. Nor will they until the pressure from international authorities becomes too embarrassing to bear.