U.N. Commission on Human Rights, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1994/31 (1994)(Nigel Rodley, Special Rapporteur).


Urgent appeals

531. On 25 June 1993 the Special Rapporteur sent un urgent appeal to the Government on behalf of Maung Maung Than and Par Pa, two Burmese refugees recognized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), who had allegedly been arrested by Thai security forces and were being held at the immigration detention centre in Bangkok. It was also reported that Maung Maung Than had been arrested in Bangkok on 19 May 1993 and severely beaten and Par Pa had been arrested some time after that. Fears were expressed that they might be subjected to torture or ill-treatment while in detention.

532. On 8 July and 3 September 1993 the Government replied that in 1990 the Thai Cabinet had granted Myanmar students permission to stay temporarily in Thailand on humanitarian grounds on the condition that they did not engage in political activities while in Thailand. In 1992 the Government had established a safe area for Myanmar students which would provide them with adequate housing, food, medical care and access to education and training. The diplomatic community, UNHCR and private organizations in Thailand had been briefed on the humanitarian policy towards Myanmar students and details concerning the safe area; all of them agreed that this would provide the best protection and assistance to the Myanmar students under the prevailing circumstances. Despite the above-mentioned efforts, a number of Myanmar students had not applied to stay in the safe area and remained in hiding in Bangkok. A few groups of Myanmar students had made known their intention to engage in political activities against the Government of Myanmar while in Thailand. The Ministry of the Interior was therefore compelled to pursue the arrest of and to bring to trial on charges of illegal entry those Myanmar students who did not comply with the laws and regulations pertaining to the terms under which they could stay in Thailand. Maung Maung Than was reported to be a leader of the Overseas National Student Organization of Burma, which was engaged in activities against the Government of Myanmar and opposed the policy to establish the safe area. He was being held at the immigration detention centre on charges of illegal entry. On 13 July 1993 he had voluntarily decided to go to the safe area. With respect to the case of Par Pa, both the Ministry of the Interior and UNHCR had gone through the list of Myanmar students in Thailand, but had not been able to identify anyone

under the name of Par Pa. On the other hand, immigration officials stated that they had not mistreated persons detained at the immigration detention centre. Moreover, UNHCR had been granted access to Myanmar nationals detained at the centre on a regular basis.

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