Migrant activist fears for his life in Thai detention
Migrant-rights activist Ko Ye Min, who is a senior member of the Aid Alliance Committee, is being tortured by other inmates at Bangkok’s Immigration Detention Centre, the group’s founder said on Tuesday.
MYANMAR migrant-rights activist Ko Ye Min, who is a senior member of the Aid Alliance Committee, is being tortured by other inmates at Bangkok’s Immigration Detention Centre, the group’s founder said on Tuesday.
“He told us he has been designated a ‘red inmate’ (dangerous prisoner) and has been tortured by Vietnamese prisoners at the centre. He fears for his life,” U Khaing Gyi, the founder of the Thai-based migrant rights group, said.
Ko Ye Min was arrested and detained by the Thai Immigration Department on October 19 after going to the department to sort out his visa, he said, adding, “The department told us they had to arrest Ko Ye Min because of a report from the Myanmar embassy.”
“He is very afraid of assassination and asked us to get him out quickly,” said U Tun Aung, who has visited Ko Ye Min at the detention centre.
“Ko Ye Min reported being showered with cold water and being denied sleep by five Vietnamese inmates. He also had all his clothes except his underwear taken away and has to sleep on the floor without clothes,” U Tun Aung said.
U Khaing Gyi said he is horrified because Ko Ye Min is not guilty of a crime.
U San Maung Oo, labour attaché at the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok, said the embassy did not send any report about Ko Ye Min to Thai Immigration.
“The Thai authorities said they arrested Ko Ye Min for overstaying his visa,” he said, adding that they also told him that Ko Ye Min was detained because he is facing a lawsuit in Thailand.
The migrant-rights group was formed in 2014 by U Khaing Gyi, Ko Ye Min and Ko Naing to protect Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand. It has faced pressure from labour brokers, employment agencies and employers in Thailand over its activities.
Last week, there was a surprise inspection of the group’s shelter for migrant workers. – Zaw Zaw Htwe