Thursday, January 15, 2009

Police harassing Mon women legally working in Thailand


(Rehmonnya) -WCRP: Thai police or men posing as Thai police are harassing migrant workers from Burma, say workers in Mahachi, Samut Sakorn Province, Thailand. Workers are arrested, sexually assaulted and made to pay bribes for their release regardless of whether they have visas or work permits.

In November, Thai police arrested Mi Su, 27, as she walked to work at 4 am. According to Nai Aie Lawi Mon, from the Labor Rights Promotion Network, the victim possesses a work permit but, unluckily, forgot it that morning.

“They took Mi Su to another location and ordered her to make a friend bring her work permit document. They told the friend to bring the document to one place and hid Mi Su in another place,” said Nai Aie Lawi Mon. “They searched Mi Su for money, but they didn’t see any so they took only her phone. If they found money they surely would have seized it.”

Also in November, a group of police arrested 3 women, from whom they seized 4,000 to 5,000 baht as well as molested. According to one of the victims, the group all had work permits. “Even though we held the legal documents, we were arrested and also sexually abused by them. They said that they were police, but they didn’t wear police uniforms,” said the victim, age 30. “We are mothers and have children, but the police touched our breasts and our bodies. I think not only us but also young ladies face sexual abuses like that.”

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