BANGKOK, Aug 19 (TNA) – Fifty-five Rohingya migrants detained in Thailand’s southern province of Ranong were transferred to Bangkok on Wednesday following the deaths of two Rohingyas and dozens falling ill after seven months in custody in an overcrowded detention centre, according to the police.
It was reported that the 55 migrants left Ranong Tuesday night after the police issued an urgent order. The migrants are expected to be detained at the Immigration Detention Centre in downtown Bangkok.
Pol Lt-Col Natthakrit Pinpak, chief inspector of the Ranong Immigration Office, earlier admitted that two Rohingya migrants died while in custody in the detention centre.
He said the first Rohingya, aged 15, died in June, while the second, 19, died earlier this month.
The chief inspector said they suffered dysthymia, a type of depression, refusing to have food and water for several days, and deteriorating their health to death.
“The immigration office has taken good care of the detained Rohingya migrants. We provide them three meals a day, but many of them are under stress due to the long period of detention,” Col Natthakrit said.
Fifty-year-old Rohingya Marut Hussein said at first they felt happy arriving here, as they hoped they would be deported to the third country.
“Now the situation has changed,” he said, “Our problem is tied with politics. The Thai authorities have done nothing.” Hussein said, adding that he believed the two Rohingya migrants died in Thai detention centre due to their anguished and worry about their future.
Mr Hussein also said Ranong Immigration Office have sent 13 Rohingyas for health checks at Ranong Hospital and most returned to the detention centre, except for one who remained in hospital.
Meanwhile, Ranong governor Wanchart Wongchaichana said 86 Rohingya migrants were detained early this year. The seven-month detention in a small and packed detention centre affected both physical and psychological well-being of the detainees, leading to the deaths of two Rohingyas, as well as muscle weakness and exhaustion in 13 of them.
Dr Thongchai Keeratihatthayakorn, chief of the Ranong provincial health office, explained that staying in a small room for a long period without having body movement causes nutrition deficiency in the detainees as their bodies can not burn consumed food.
“This leads to muscles weakness and finally affects the heart system which can lead to the death, as seen in the two Rohingya migrants,” said Dr Thongchai. (TNA)
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