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
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
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
Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)