Bangkok,14 Rabiul Awwal 1436/5 January 2015 (MINA) – As many as 53 people, the majority of whom Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar, have been stopped in southern Thailand on their way to Malaysia.
Thirty-seven people among the group are believed to be from the Rohingya minority, which is not entitled to citizenship in Myanmar, where it has been facing deadly communal violence.
“The group were from Myanmar and Bangladesh,” said Manit Pianthong, the chief of Takua Pa District in Thailand’s Phang Nga Province. Press Tv quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting, Monday.
“They arrived on boats and were taken in three trucks into Takua Pa before dawn on Monday” for transit through to Malaysia, he said.
“We had already set up checkpoints as we had information they would come,” he added.
The United Nations recognizes the Rohingya Muslims living in Myanmar’s Rakhine State as one of the world’s most persecuted communities.
Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar have faced torture, neglect, and repression since the country’s independence in 1948.
The Myanmar government has been repeatedly criticized by human rights groups for failing to protect the Rohingya.
Rights groups have also criticized Thailand in the past for pushing boatloads of Rohingya entering Thai waters back out to sea and for holding migrants in overcrowded facilities. (T/P002)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA/R03)