Mi­grant ac­tivist fears for his life in Thai de­ten­tion

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Front Page -

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

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