06BANGKOK2418 STATELESS TIP VICTIMS TO BE REPATRIATED TO THAILAND AFTER 14 MONTH DETENTION
“This record is a partial extract of the original cable.
The full text of the original cable is not available.
“,”UNCLAS BANGKOK 002418
DEPARTMENT FOR G/TIP, EAP/MLS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWMN, KCRM, ELAB, PHUM, PREL, TH, HUMAN RIGHTS, Hill Tribes
SUBJECT: STATELESS TIP VICTIMS TO BE REPATRIATED TO THAILAND AFTER
14 MONTH DETENTION
REF: Bangkok 2291
1. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director-General of American and
Pacific Affairs, Nongnuth Phetcharatana called Charg this morning,
April 26, to report that the Minister of Interior signed an order
yesterday evening to repatriate the remaining six Shan hill tribe
TIP victims detained in Malaysia. The MFA also issued an
instruction to the Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to start
repatriation immediately. Remaining tasks are to secure approval
from the Malaysian government to release the detainees and to
purchase flight tickets.
2. DPM Surakiart Sathirathai intervened several times on this case,
most recently during the last two weeks by raising the issue with
Interior Minister Kongsak Wanthana. Prior concerns in the Interior
Ministry about the legal validity of repatriating non-citizens to
Thailand posed a stumbling block, resulting in the detention of
these stateless hill tribe women since their February 2005 rescue
from a Malaysian brothel.
3. As expected, the MFA is curious as to how this repatriation will
affect Thailand\’s tier rating on the upcoming TIP report. LabOff
was noncommittal on the issue, but thanked them for their work,
which he assured them has resolved a longstanding concern about
Thailand\’s perceived commitment to combat trafficking. Post will
follow up as soon as the women have returned, and hopefully
interview them personally on their experiences.