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MASS MIGRANT PRISON CAMP GRAVE FOUND IN MALAYSIAN-THAILAND BOARDER

Authorities in Thailand uncovered a mass grave in an abandoned jungle camp Friday believed to contain the remains of migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh, a grisly find in a region notorious for people-smuggling routes.
The discovery was made at a remote camp in Sadao district, in Songkhla province bordering Malaysia, and comes as Thailand's junta cracks down on human trafficking following accusations that officials have been complicit in the trade.
The border area with Malaysia is notorious for its network of secret camps where smuggled migrants are held, usually against their will until relatives pay up hefty ransoms.
"There are 32 graves, four bodies have now been exhumed and are on their way... to hospital for an autopsy," Sathit Thamsuwan, a rescue worker who was at the scene soon after the site was found, told AFP, saying it was unclear how they had died.
"The bodies were all decayed," he said, adding a single emaciated man from Bangladesh survived and was being treated at a hospital in nearby Padang Besar.
Tens of thousands of migrants from Myanmar, mainly from the Rohingya Muslim minority but also increasingly from Bangladesh, make the dangerous sea crossing to southern Thailand, a well-worn trafficking route often on the way south to Malaysia and beyond.
Last week U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described the condition of such camps as “untenable,” adding that their existence should “remain a matter of profound concern for the international community.”
Thailand has been criticized in the past for pushing boatloads of Rohingya entering Thai waters back out to sea, and for holding migrants in overcrowded facilities.


  • The ruling junta says it has taken significant steps to combat trafficking since June, when the United States dumped Thailand to the bottom of its list of countries accused of failing to tackle modern-day slavery.
Source: Agency 
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