Rights Groups to Request Thai National Police Chief to Unchain Injured Migrant Work Accident Victim from Myanmar Detained Pending Deportation

On 3 Feb, the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF) and networks submitted a petition to Thailand’s National Police Chief. The petition demands the unchaining of Charlie Deeyu, a migrant worker from Myanmar who was severely injured in a work accident and is hospitalized under custody at Bangkok’s Police General Hospital pending deportation.

Charlie Deeyu is 28 year old migrant worker from Myanmar who was severely injured in a work related accident on 9th January 2011. He was sent for treatment at the Pathum Thani Provincial Hospital. Both Charlie’s employer and Ministry of Labour officials refused to cover medical expenses for him at the hospital. Charlie had no personal identification documents at the hospital but informed HRDF he has registered as a migrant worker since January 2010. Charlie’s existing work permit expired on 20th January 2011, and given his employer provided him no assistance and he was in hospital, he failed to renew his work permit and has now lost all his identification documents.

On 31st January 2011, Pathum Thani hospital reported Charlie’s case to the police, given they said he was an “illegal worker” who had not paid his medical fees. Charlie was then arrested and taken into custody at the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok, pending deportation to Myanmar. HRDF requested the Immigration Bureau to transfer Charlie to a hospital. Given his serious condition, on 1st February 2011 he was transferred to the Police General Hospital in Bangkok. When HRDF staff went to see Charlie at the hospital on 2nd February 2011, he was detailed in a cell at the hospital and was chained to his bed.

At 230pm today, HRDF and rights networks in Thailand will submit a letter to the Chief of the Royal Thai Police Force requesting the immediate unchaining of Charlie given that:
•       He has not committed any serious offence and is not ask risk of absconding.
Putting shackles on a patient is humiliating treatment and can be construed as torture, an act of which is in breach of Section 26 and 31 of the 2007 Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand, the United Nation Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and order 1438/2552 of Thailand’s Central Administrative Court
•       Putting shackles on Mr. Charlie is in breach of the Regulation and Measures Regarding the Receiving and Detention of an Alleged Offender or a Detainee as per Directive no. 21 / 2545 of the Immigration Bureau’s General Staff Division.
Section 4.3 of this regulation reads that “no shackles shall be put on a child younger than 14 years or a woman, an older person, a person with disability or a patient who appears not to be able to make an escape by himself or herself.”

As a result of his work accident, Charlie is suffering severe injuries to his abdomen. After an operation, his intestines are outside of his body and are prone to infection. He is unable to naturally excrete and a bag is placed outside his body to receive any discharge. Charlie also broke his right femur from his accident and is unable to walk. In addition, the room in which he stays for treatment in the hospital is a detaining cell which makes it impossible for him to escape.

Somchai Homlaor, Secretary General of HRDF, today said: “Charlie is obviously unable to abscond from police detention given his existing medical condition. He has committed minor offences. Putting shackles on Charlie while he suffers from painful injuries, to prevent him from running away, is unreasonable and inhumane behaviour by all officials concerned. Charlie should not be treated as a criminal given systems to care for migrant work related accident victims in Thailand have once again seriously let migrants down."