02 Feb '11, 6am

YahooNews - Thais must give UN access to boat people: HRW: Thailand should urgently allow the UN refugee agency

BANGKOK (AFP) - – Thailand should urgently allow the UN refugee agency access to more than 200 detained boat people who are at risk of "atrocious" persecution in Myanmar, according to a rights group. A group of 158 asylum seekers from the Rohingya ethnic group arrived in Thailand from Myanmar in January after "a perilous sea voyage in rickety, overcrowded boats", Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Wednesday. Another 68 from the ethnic group -- described by the UN as one of the world's most persecuted minorities -- were arrested after landing in the southern Thai island of Phuket on Tuesday and were being prepared for repatriation, police told AFP. Thailand has repeatedly refused to give the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) access to the detainees, the New-York based HRW said. "The persecution of Rohingyas in Burma (Myanmar) is atrocious, but the Thai government cont...

Full article: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/afp/20110202/tap-thailand-myanma...

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