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Thailand: health concern: Maung Kyan, Mon refugee, early 30s

, Index number: ASA 39/002/1995

AI is gravely concerned that Maung Kyan, an ethnic Mon refugee from Myanmar currently held as an "illegal immigrant" in the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) in Bangkok, may not be receiving urgently needed medical care. Maung Kyan lost both arms and eyes in a landmine explosion over 10 years ago. In October 1995 he had a cornea transplant which allows him limited sight in one eye. Since then he has needed monitoring and anti-rejection medication. AI is calling for him and his family to be transferred out of the IDC as a matter of urgency and for him to get the treatment he needs.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 39/02/95
Distr: UA/SC
This is a limited action. Please restrict appeals to 20 per section.
UA 136/95 Health concern 14 June 1995
THAILAND Maung Kyan, Mon refugee, early 30s
Amnesty International is gravely concerned that Maung Kyan, an ethnic Mon
refugee from Myanmar currently held in the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC)
in Bangkok, Thailand, may not be receiving the medical care that he urgently
needs.
Maung Kyan lost both arms and both eyes in a land-mine explosion over 10 years
ago. He, his wife and their two young children arrived in 1994 from a refugee
camp on the Myanmar/Thailand border, and Maung Kyan was registered as a "person
of concern" with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Thailand. In October 1994 he had a cornea transplant which has given him limited
sight in one eye. Since then it has been necessary for him to be monitored
for signs of the cornea being rejected and must be maintained on anti-rejection
medication. Efforts were also about to be made to see if it would be possible
for him to be fitted with artificial arms (prostheses).
However, on 19 April 1995 Maung Kyan, his wife and two children were among
12 people arrested by police as "illegal immigrants" at Wat Prok, a Mon temple
in Bangkok. They were initially detained at Yannawa Police Precinct prison
with ordinary criminal offenders in very hot conditions. Various organizations
and individuals made repeated calls for his release or transfer to a more
suitable location on humanitarian grounds and the case received much publicity.
Amnesty International, which had a delegation in Thailand at the time, and
other concerned organizations, believed that the authorities would agree to
Maung Kyan and his family being transferred to the Maneeloy Student Safe Area
in Ratchaburi province where he could receive the treatment he needs. UNHCR
reportedly requested permission from the Ministry of Interior for Maung Kyan
to go to the Student Safe Area urgently on humanitarian grounds.
Amnesty International has now learned that, almost two months later, Maung
Kyan and his family remain in detention at the IDC in Bangkok. He is separated
from his wife in detention, as men and women are segregated in the IDC and
are locked in 24 hours a day. Maung Kyan has not been officially charged with
"illegal immigration".
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
There are currently around 70,000 Burmese refugees seeking sanctuary in
Thailand, many of them members of ethnic minorities such as the Mon and Karen
living in refugee camps in border areas. Thailand has not acceded to the 1951
Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and has not established
comprehensive procedures for determining refugee status. As a consequence,
refugees found outside of established camps are regularly arrested and detained
for "illegal immigration". Although the UNHCR in Thailand is able to register
as "persons of concern" some of the people who apply to it for assistance,
this does not provide adequate protection against detention for "illegal
immigration".
2
International standards dealing with the protection of refugees and
asylum-seekers state that the detention of refugees and asylum-seekers should
normally be avoided.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express and airmail letters
either in English or in your own language:
- expressing grave concern that Maung Kyan, an ethnic Mon refugee registered
as a "person of concern" by UNHCR, who lost both arms and sight in both eyes
and who has recently undergone a cornea transplant, has been detained since
19 April in the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) in Bangkok and may not be
receiving the medical care and attention that he needs;
- urging that Maung Kyan and his family be transferred out of the IDC to the
Maneeloy Student Safe Area in Ratchaburi province as a matter of urgency, so
that he can be cared for by appropriate organizations in suitable conditions;
- urging the Thai authorities to take all possible steps to assist Maung Kyan
as quickly as possible on humanitarian grounds.
APPEALS TO
1) Sanan Kachornprasart
Minister of Interior
Ministry of Interior
Asdang Road
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Telegrams: Minister of Interior, Bangkok, Thailand
Faxes: +66 2 224 6191/+66 2 226 1066/+66 2 226 4371
Salutation: Dear Minister
2) Chuan Leekphai, Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister
Government House
Nakhorn Pathom Road
Bangkok 10300
Thailand
Telegrams: Prime Minister Chuan Leekphai, Bangkok, Thailand
Faxes: + 66 2 280 1443
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
and to diplomatic representatives of Thailand accredited to your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 27 July 1995.

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