MOVE FORWARD and Commoners parties strongly criticised the repatriation of three People’s Defence Force soldiers who had crossed over from Myanmar to Mae Sot to seek medical treatment with all three believed to have been killed, Thai Rath newspaper said today (Apr. 11).
However Myanmar junta’s Border Guard Forces (BGF) only confirmed that one of the three PDF soldiers, namely Ko Thiha, 38, Htet Nay Wun, 31, and Saw Phyo Lay, 26, had been shot dead while trying to escape with one of the other two shot in the thigh and the two of them sent to State Administration Council.
The three PDF soldiers had crossed over to Mae Sot to get treatment at a clinic in the Thai border town. However as they were not familiar with the route they took the wrong turn which led to an Immigration Bureau checkpoint where they were apprehended.
“Organisations on the Thai side tried to help all three. But the Immigration officers told them to contact them the next day. When they came as arranged the officers told them they had been released on the morning of April 4,” a person close to this development said.
“At around 8 a.m. I heard three people being shot near the BGF’s Ingyin Myaing gate on the Myanmar side,” a resident near the gate confirmed.
Immigration and other police units in Mae Sot have been arresting an increasing number of migrants recently and some of them have been sent back to Myanmar.
For this reason organisations helping Myanmar migrant workers have issued a warning to those in Mae Sot to be careful when crossing back and forth this borderline.
Last Saturday Commoners Party issued a statement urging the Thai government to publicly clarify violations of the law against torture and enforced disappearance following the arrest and deportation of the three PDF soliders, seemingly leading to their execution by the Myanmar army.
The statement pointed out that if the Thai government prevented PDF soldiers from getting medical treatment it may have violated Article 13 of the Geneva Convention III.
On the same day, Move Forward Party’s Rangsiman Rome commented that the deportation of the three Myanmar nationals who opposed the dictatorial government of Min Aung Hlaing shows disregard for human rights.
“The return of the three made it clear that Thailand has no respect for human rights. Knowing that the repatriation could lead to the death of all three worsens the image of Thailand in terms of human rights in the international arena. It clearly reflects that the government of General Prayut never cared about human rights,” Rangsiman said.
The three People’s Defence Force solidiers believed to have been executed after being repatriated, above, and the Thai-Myanmar border at Mae Sot, Front Page. Photos: Thai Rath