2003 Report by the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Theo van Boven


Thailand

Urgent appeals

1745. On 19 June 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent an urgent appeal on behalf of Abdel Khader Thiga, an Algerian national and former member of the Department of Research and Security who was reportedly currently detained in the Immigration Detention Centre in Bangkok and was said to be at risk of being forcibly sent back to Algeria before the end of June 2002 due to exclusion from refugee protection pursuant to Article 1F of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. In his capacity as former member of the Military Security, he was allegedly responsible for information gathering on alleged members or sympathisers of armed opposition groups in Algeria. He reportedly belongs to a small group of former members of the security forces who have made public accounts of human rights violations committed by the State in Algeria.

1746. By letter dated 28 June 2002, the Government responded that upon being informed of his pending criminal charges in Algeria, it requested the Algerian Government to transmit a number of documents related to Abdel Khader Thigaís case and the guarantee that the charges for which extradition was sought were not military or politically motivated. However, the Thai Government did not receive any reply from the Algerian Government providing it with the requested information. Since his passport was to be expired on 15 June 2002, his prosecution could not be carried out under Thailandís jurisdiction, he was not granted refugee status and he had already served his sentence under Thai immigration law, the authorities decided to deport him. Abdel Khader Thiga agreed to the deportation but requested that his flight route included a number of transit stopovers in Ethiopia, Ivory Coast and Morocco before reaching Algeria. The authorities accepted this request and scheduled the flight for 3 June 2002. However, in the meanwhile, the alien changed his mind and stated that he did not want to be repatriated to Algeria. He was brought back to the Immigration Detention Centre, where he was still held at the time the Government transmitted this response.

1747. On 23 August 2002, the Special Rapporteur, jointly with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions sent an urgent appeal on behalf of Aung Kyaw Soe, Thien Lwin and Wunna, members of the Democratic Party for a New Society (DPNS), Aung San Nyunt, Zaw Weik and Nan Nay Chi (f), members of the National League for Democracy-Liberated Area (NDL LA), Thien Lwin, Htet Khaing, Khin Moe Way (f) and Mem Thet San, members of the All Burma Studentís Democratic Front (ABSDF), Mi Li Tanyar Mon (f) and Nai Mon Kyai Hlaing, members of Mon Youth Progressive Organization (MYPO), Aung Htoo, member of the Peopleís Democratic Front (PDF), Naw Kha Yu, member of the Karen National Union (KNU) and 20 adults and children attending a Baptist Church. They were said to be pro-democracy activists of Myanmar that took refuge from persecution by the military government of Myanmar. All of them were reportedly charged with illegal entry and arrested on 20 August 2002 by the police. At the time the Special Rapporteur sent this urgent appeal, they were reportedly held in Sankhlaburi town, Kanchanaburi province, on the border with Myanmar. The Government of Thailand had reportedly announced that they would be imminently and forcibly repatriated to Myanmar. Fears were expressed that they may be at risk of execution, torture or other forms of ill- treatment if they are handed over to the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) troops.

1748. By letter dated 28 November 2002, the Government responded that the arrest of the mentioned Myanmar nationals had been made as a rendition of law enforcement measures. The Government added that those who are entitled to the right to stay in Thailand are requested to observe Thai laws and regulations, including the prohibition that they refrain from conducting activities against the Government of neighboring countries. Any failure to observe such regulation shall result in nullification of such rights. The Government reassured the Special Rapporteur that no human rights violation was committed in the process of deportation. Indeed, it was witnessed by police officers from the Sangklaburi district and military officers in the area, as required by the rules of procedure in the matter. The destination of the deportation was also verified as a safe area. It was also subsequently reported that all the deportees were safe.

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small logo   This report has been published by Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights on August 2, 2005.