23 Dec Ten Rohingya escape from Thai detention centre

Written by Mizzima Published in Regional Read 2408 times
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
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.

Immigration police at the centre reportedly learned about the escape at 2.30 am, according to the newspaper.

A total of 165 illegal immigrants were being detained at the centre.

The escapees from Myanmar call themselves Rohingya but are classed as “Bengalis” by the Myanmar government. Many claim they fled Myanmar due to persecution, notably after serious communal conflicts in 2012.

This was not the first escape by Muslim Rohingya asylum-seekers in southern Thailand. In August 2013, 87 escapees broke out of an immigration detention centre in Songkhla, following an earlier escape by another group of 30 from a police station in the city.

Media reports indicate that more than 1,800 Rohingya who fledMyanmarby sea over the last couple of years are being detained acrossThailand. They often end up in overcrowded centres and shelters. Thousands more have been intercepted and pushed back out to sea by the Thai authorities.

Rights activists claim Thailand's response to the influx of Rohingya has been poor and have urged the authorities not to deport the refugees back toMyanmar, where they claim they face discrimination.