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Information Release # 7 of Burma Labour Solidarity Organization (BLSO)

September 9, 2000

 

Update on Chow Knitting Industry Company Limited factory raid by Thai

authorities on August 31, 2000.

 

At 1:30 p.m. on August 31, 2000 Thai authorities raided the Chow Knitting

Industry Company Limited factory in Mae Sot, Thailand. Nine hundred female

and 100 male workers were arrested. The workers were first locked inside the

factory and the authorities began by arresting only female workers. Twenty

five male workers approached the authorities and asked if they could exchange

themselves for 25 of the female workers. This angered the police and they

began to beat some of the workers. Before they did this they took photographs

 of  the 25 workers who had requested the exchange. Some people broke open the

doors and they ran into the forest near the factory to hide, some workers were

captured and beaten. The 1,000 workers that were arrested were taken to the Thai

immigration detention center where some were beaten. Forty-four workers (42

male and 2 female) were separated from the rest and put in a different cell.

 

The rest of the workers were released. On September 2, twenty-four of the 44

workers were released opposite the Zeetaw Gate checkpoint. They were put on

a boat to cross the Moei river to the Burma side. Some of the workers became

angry and shouted at the police, who then proceeded to beat the workers in

the boat. One of the workers, Kyaw Min, 24, from Dagon satellite town in the

Rangoon division, was hit in the head and kicked by the Thai immigration

Police into the river. He could not swim and because no one could help him he

drowned.

 

His wife, who is 2 months pregnant, remains alive. The owner of the factory

where he worked has given his wife some compensation money.

Of the twenty workers that remained in custody, 16 were released on

September5.

 

 Four remain in the detention center. Of the workers that were released on

September 2, two of them have serious injuries due to being kicked in the

Chest by police and army officers wearing heavy boots, and are currently

Receiving medical treatment.

 

We, BLSO, object to the actions of the Thai authorities during and after the

raid on the Chow Knitting Industry Company Limited factory. They are

responsible for the death of one worker and the serious injury of two others.

 

More information, please contact : Moe Swe and Than Doke

Tel ; 01 9603751

 

 

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AAPP

Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)

e.mail: aappb@cscoms.com

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