Five Rohingya flee from shelter
Five Rohingya Muslims who were allegedly victims of a rape and a human trafficking attempt late last month have escaped from a temporary shelter in Phangnga province, the shelter head said Tuesday.
- Published: 24/07/2013 at 12:00 AM
- Newspaper section: news
Dararat Suthes, head of the Phangnga Shelter for Children and Family, confirmed the five were among a group of Rohingya who had escaped from the shelter last week.
Five female Rohingya _ a mother, 25, her daughters, aged 12 and nine, and two other women _ were allegedly lured from the Phangnga state shelter on May 27 by two men, Veerayut Ferngfu, from Tai Muang police station and Korlimula Ramahaty, a Rohingya man.
The 25-year-old mother said she was told that she would be taken to Malaysia to be reunited with her husband, but was instead held at several places in the region in an ordeal lasting several weeks.
The woman was allegedly raped repeatedly by the Rohingya man, who has been charged with the assaults.
The officer is accused of driving the five women from the shelter.
The victim and her children were later found on a roadside, and returned to the shelter when she contacted police.
Ms Dararat said she had alerted immigration police about the latest escape.
Of 71 Rohingya people sent to the Phangnga shelter in January, only 25, mostly elderly and vulnerable, still live there, she said.
They are among more than 2,000 Rohingya boat people who arrived in Thailand earlier this year.
Ms Dararat said she wondered if local authorities were involved in the escape.
"My staff once witnessed a nightly escape, when Rohingya women climbed the fence to sneak out of the shelter with the help of outsiders," she said.
Kuraburi police station superintendent Pol Col Veerasilp Kwanseng said the escape of the five victims would have little impact on the lawsuits underway, as police knew where the two suspects were, and prosecutors have interrogated the two children, who were the main witnesses in the case.
About the author
- Writer: Achara Ashayagachat
- Position: Reporter