APHR - ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights condemned the arrest and the transfer of three members of the Public Defense Force by Thai authorities
The APHR group, which is composed of parliamentarians from ASEAN countries, strongly condemns the arrest of three PDF members of the Public Defense Force by Thai immigration and their transfer to Myanmar and calls on the Thai authorities and the international community to prevent such incidents from happening again.
APHR Chair and member of the Indonesian House of Representatives, Mercy Barends said that the Thai authorities forcing the return of Burmese refugees and asylum seekers to Myanmar is a violation of international human rights law, norms and principles.
On April 1, according to APHR information from local civil society organizations, three members of the Public Defense Force crossed into Thailand for medical treatment, and the three were stopped at a checkpoint and arrested by Thai immigration.
The three people in charge of information, Ko Thiha, the deputy commander of the Lion Battalion strategic column, Ko Htet Nay Win and Ko Saw Phyo Lai, were arrested at the Thai immigration checkpoint on April 1 while going to Mae Sot, Turk Province in Thailand for medical treatment.
On April 4, Thai authorities transferred them to the BGF, an ally of the military council, and it is also stated by the APHR that one of the PDF members was shot dead by the BGF, citing eyewitnesses.
APHR also said that Burmese citizens seeking asylum in Thailand lack legal protection and face the possibility of deportation back to the country at any time.
"I urge the Thai government to give people fleeing persecution in Myanmar safe access to Thailand and prioritize their safety. The Thai authorities must immediately stop repatriating Myanmar nationals," said the APHR president.
In addition, APHR calls on the international community, ASEAN and ASEAN member countries to pressure the Thai government to treat Burmese citizens with dignity and respect their rights.