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22 February 2024

Thailand to investigate charges that its navy beat migrants, forced them out to sea


Thailand says it will investigate reports that the Thai navy tied up four illegal immigrants and threw them into the ocean before abandoning hundreds of others on a barge in open sea, where some 300 drowned.

The Thai Foreign Ministry also said on Saturday it will reassess the overall situation of illegal immigration in light of the December incident and would attempt to work with neighbouring countries to better address the problem.

The government’s about face comes as refugee aid groups stepped up criticism of Thai authorities for their handling of illegal immigrants who are arriving by boat from Bangladesh and Myanmar on their way to Malaysia to try to find work.

The United Nations refugee agency joined other refugee groups in calling on Friday for Thailand to explain what happened to the hundreds of migrants, some of whom washed up on an Indian island in the Andaman Sea.