Investigate Shooting of Burmese Refugees

Target: Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand

Goal: Bring justice to those responsible for the killing of two refugees in Thailand

In late February, members of Thailand’s navy shot at ethnic Rohingya ‘boat people’, causing at least two deaths. The asylum seekers had been taken into custody by the Navy when their boat ran out of fuel near Surin Island on its trip from Burma to Malaysia. The vessel had about 130 people on board at the time that it was stopped. Demand the Thai government immediately open an independent investigation into the deaths and levy proper punishment against those responsible.

According to reports made by survivors, the Thai Navy began to separate the survivors into smaller groups for transportation to immigration detention centers. When the attempt was made to put the first group of Rohingya onto another boat, some of the Rohingya panicked and jumped overboard. Two bodies with bullet holes were later pulled from the sea, confirming survivor reports that the Thai Navy fired upon those who had jumped overboard and swam towards shore. The fate of the others who jumped overboard is unknown.

Members of the Thai security forces should abide by the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. These statutes explain that law enforcement must use all nonviolent means before resorting to the use of force. The intentional use of lethal force must only be used in order to protect life. Sign this petition to demand that the Thai government take action against those who have taken the lives of refugees.


Dear Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra,

The recent killing of two Rohingya refugees on their way to Malaysia after fleeing persecution in Burma is unacceptable. Members of your law enforcement are bound by United Nations agreements to only use lethal force if all nonviolent means have been exhausted. I ask that you take action against those in your Navy that were responsible for these deaths.

Rohingya deserve the right to seek asylum from the oppressive conditions that they face at the hands of Burmese authorities. By not allowing them safe passage, your government is violating their human right to free life.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: U.S. Navy via Wikipedia Commons

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