February 4, 2010

Thailand is to go ahead with the forced deportation of ethnic Karen refugees back to Burma at 7am this Friday 5th February. 35 families totalling 161 people will be forced back to Burma by the Thai military.  The refugees do not want to return, and face possible death or injury from landmines.

Although the Royal Thai Government and local and military representatives have officially stated that they will not force people to return, only one family out of 3,000 refugees genuinely wants to return to Burma at this time. The rest have been facing intimidation and threats to force them to say they want to go back to Burma.

Until now they have been kept in two temporary camps, Nong Bua, (also called No Bu), and Mae U Su, in Tha Song Yang close to the Thailand-Burma border. Many of these refugees have already been forced to flee their homes four or more times.

The Burma Campaign issued a more detailed press release about this issue on the 3rd February: http://www.burmacampaign.org.uk/index.php/news-and-reports/news-stories/3000-ethnic-karen-refugees-at-risk-of-deportation-from-thailand-to-burma/13

A full background briefing is available at:New UK Burma sanctions welcome – Aviation fuel must be next

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