Thai authorities have arrested three Myanmar journalists and two activists after escaping from Myanmar amidst violent crackdown by the military junta.
Journalists from the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) news outlet, which was stripped of its broadcasting license in March, were arrested in Thailand’s Chiang Mai on Sunday.
The three journalists were scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, according to DVB’s chief editor Aye Chan Naing.
“They were arrested during a random search by the police and charged for illegal entry in Thailand,” the chief editor said.
He added, “DVB strongly urges the Thai authorities to not deport them back to Burma, as their life will be in serious danger if they were to return.”
Thailand foreign ministry spokesperson Tanee Sangrat told reporters Tuesday, “Thai authorities concerned are coordinating to find possible humanitarian solution(s) to this case.”
Meanwhile, Amnesty urged Thailand not to deport those arrested.
“It is imperative that the Thai authorities do not forcibly return these individuals to Myanmar. To do so would place them at real risk of arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and other ill-treatment, and death,” said Ming Yu Hah, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns.
“We urge the Thai authorities to give sanctuary to those seeking safety, in line with international law,” the director added.