Human rights groups and opposition politicians in Thailand are criticizing the government for forcibly deporting three men. The men are allegedly members of an anti-government resistance movement in military-ruled Myanmar.
The Bangkok-based People’s Empowerment Foundation said the action violated universal human rights principles as well as Thailand’s own policy. This is due to the fact, that the men are likely to be in danger as a result of their anti-goverment activities.
“Given the situation of generalized violence in Myanmar, all Myanmar nationals in Thailand should be given temporary protective status. As per Thai law, no one should be forced to return to a situation where they may face grave human rights abuses,” said Patrick Phongsathorn of Fortify Rights.
A document issued by Thailand’s National Security Council said the deportation followed official policy. It stated, that the men had not presented themselves as combatants in Myanmar’s civil conflict.
Myanmar’s independent media reported that the three men are members of a resistance group called the Lion Battalion Commando. They crossed into Thailand last month to have at least one of them treated for injuries.
There has been serious fighting for the past two weeks in eastern Myanmar. The fighting is a part of an ongoing struggle that began in February 2021.
The three men identified as Thiha, 38, Saw Phyo Lay, 26, and Htet Naing Win, 31, were arrested on March 31. They were arrested at a Thai road checkpoint and sent back to Myanmar on April 4.