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Thailand's Gulag For Hilltribes
Many hilltribe men are amongst a substantial number of recent prisoner transfers out of horrendously overcrowded Bangkwang Central Prison just north of Bangkok.

Thailand has opened a new facility to which many prisoners, including hilltribe men, are being transfered. The address is:

Youth Central Prison,
22/4 Moon 3 T. Klong 6 Klong,
Luang Pathumthani,
Thailand 12120

It is located about 30 kilometers north of central Bangkok, and north of Don Muang International Airport.

A recent report from there says: "Conditions are far different from Bangkwang. We cannot make ends meet at all. Everybody has to depend on their relatives to visit. There is much difficulty for those whose relatives cannot visit. Parcels are also prohibited."

Ahpha Mopoogu, a 31-year-old Akha man from China, was transfered to this new facility last month, along with other hilltribe prisoners previously held in Block 2 at Bangkwang. He understands very little English.

Asok Wei Yee, a 24-year-old Akha man from Myanmar, was also recently transfered to this new facility from Block 3 at Bangkwang along with other hilltribe prisoners. He is now held in block 1, room 11, at the new facility. Thursday is the only day he is allowed visits. He understands English very well. (His photo is attached.)

If anyone is able to visit these men, and other hilltribe prisoners held there, they will be very grateful. They are being held far from their homelands and their relatives are unable to visit them due to sheer poverty and lack of documents to travel in Thailand.

We continue to pressure the Thai authorities concerning conditions in their prisons as well as their policies towards ethnic hilltribe minorities.

- Paul Hunt - 14 October 2004

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