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According to press statements issued by the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF), Mr. Charlee Diyo, a 33 year old migrant worker from Myanmar, had a work related accident and continues to suffer from occupational injuries which caused severe damage to his intestines. After an operation, his intestines remain outside of his body. He also has a broken pelvis that is causing him intense pain as his treatment continues in the Police General Hospital in Bangkok. Despite his having a legal work permit, a hospital in Pathum Thani Province asked the police to arrest him and he was detained in Bangkok’s Immigration Detention Centre awaiting deportation back to Myanmar on the grounds of illegal entry into Thailand. He was then transferred to the Police General Hospital chained to a bed for his first 4 days there. Later on 12th February 2011, the Lawyers Council of Thailand (LCT) submitted a motion to the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court requesting the release of Chalee from his illegal detention in the Police General Hospital in Bangkok (a motion of habeas corpus) since his work permit is still valid and his continued detention is unlawful.

Such case as Chalee’s should not have happened in Thailand - it is so shameful, inhumane and is tantamount to an attempt to shield exploitative employers from responsibility. Every worker regardless of his or her nationality must be entitled to equal protection under our laws and the concerned authorities must enforce the law stringently to hold negligent employers to account. In addition, police officers should refrain from acting in support of exploitative employers. 

The Ministry of Labour’s Office of Workmen’s Compensation in the Social Security Office (SSO) should have already shown its responsibility towards Chalee and for humanitarian reasons should have advanced its own funds to cover his medical expenses. And the employer must be taken to task. It is outrageous that concerned authorities in Thailand continue to act in total oblivion to this case! Migrant workers should always be afforded equal treatment to Thais and others.

As fellow Buddhists, the Council of Work and Environment Related Patient’s Network of Thailand (WEPT) would like to invite all fellow workers and the general public to help to make donations to cover the medical expenses of Chalee, which so far total 70, 000 Thai Baht (US$2, 400). You may donate to Chalee’s medical costs through the account of the Human Rights and Development Foundation’s (HRDF) “Migrant Justice Program” Savings AC No. 0910197350, Krungthai Bank, Ratchadapisek-Huaykwang. We wish that your kind deed shall enable you to enjoy a life free of harm and full of health and happiness.

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