Alarm As Whereabouts Of Detained Chin Children Refugees Not Known In Thailand
Fears have mounted over the ‘mental and physical’ safety of 6 Chin children refugees who have been reportedly detained in Thailand since late September as no information is known as to where and how they have been, their families in Malaysia said.
Thiang Bik, 5, Philip, 7, Ngun Za Thin, 9, Roland, 11, Chan Duh Thang, 10, and Kap Cung Lian, 9, of Thau and Vomkua villages, Thantlang township were arrested by the Thai Police while they were on their way to Malaysia to join their parents.
“We don’t know what happens to them and where they are now. Even alive or dead, we are not sure. We, the parents, are so much worried every single second. They don’t speak Burmese, Thai, Malaysian, English and won’t be able to even tell about themselves,” Pu Zai Awi, 47, told Chinland Guardian.
The children were reportedly kept in police lock-up in Thailand for two weeks and moved to another detention camp. It is believed that they might also be transferred to an orphanage in Bangkok according to unconfirmed sources.
“We keep trying to reach out as far as we can. The agents told us that there is nothing they can do to get them out of the Thai police. Out of my desperation, I have queued up for three days to contact UNHCR in Malaysia. The UNHCR said that they will keep trying to find them but can’t guarantee,” said Kap Cung Lian’s father, a UNHCR refugee card holder in Malaysia.
The six Chin children of three families, who were arrested in Thailand with more than 50 other refugees, managed with the help of agents to get out from Burma to join their refugee parents in Malaysia. It is said that the agents could get the others out of detention camps after bribing the Thai police.
CRC, a Chin community-based volunteer organisation in Malaysia, and other individuals have been since September making efforts but no confirmed information about the detained children has been obtained.
“We have tried so much in this case and it has gone into 6 weeks now. The situation has become beyond what we can actually do. The only hope we have got is what UNHCR in Malaysia and Thailand can do,” a member of Chin Refugee Committee (CRC) told Chinland Guardian.
Van Biak Thang
06 November, 2008