Monday, November 05, 2007

Group Fears For Burmese Activists' Safety

Source: Seattle Post Intelligencer

Pro-democracy activists fleeing Burma in the wake of a military crackdown have no legal protection and are targets of exploitation once they reach Thailand, a U.S. advocacy group said Monday.

An unknown number of students, Buddhist monks and veteran activists, including several protest leaders, have fled Yangon and other parts of Burma to the Thai frontier. Many say they were about to be arrested along with the thousands of others who were seized off the streets by the military.

"They are subject to constant harassment, bribery, exploitation. They are forced to live in limbo, lacking any status in Thailand," said Eileen Shields-West, member of a 12-person team from Refugees International that returned from the Thai-Myanmar border.

The group spent four days interviewing refugees at frontier camps and "safe houses" run by Burmese activist exile groups trying to assist the new arrivals from the isolated Southeast Asian nation.

For the full report, please click here.

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