Thai Court Orders Prison Transfer of Burmese Pair Implicated in Ranong Murder

By Nyein Nyein 25 January 2016

CHIANG MAI, Thailand — A court in Thailand’s Ranong province on Monday ordered that two Burmese minors accused of involvement in the fatal stabbing of a Thai student in September last year be transferred to a juvenile prison in Surat Thani province, some 200 km south of the Ranong juvenile facility in which they had been detained.

Four Burmese fisheries workers—including Moe Zin Aung and Kyaw Soe Win, both 15 years old—have been in detention since October 2015 in connection with the stabbing death of a 19-year-old Thai woman the previous month.

The two minors appeared in court on Monday after a judge accepted the case against them on Jan. 22. The pair are being tried in separate proceedings from the other accused, Wai Lin and Sein Kadone, as the former are adolescents.

“I told my son to stay safe at the Surat Thani juvenile detention centre,” said Ei Ei Moe, the mother of Moe Zin Aung. “I am worried about him as they are moving him to a place further from us.”

She said Moe Zin Aung received minor injuries after he was assaulted by another detainee in the juvenile detention center in Ranong on Jan. 15.

Ei Ei Moe added that the defendant’s lawyers and the migrant rights group, Foundation for Education & Development, pledged to assist the family to arrange future prison visits.

Family members of the accused have alleged their sons were tortured by police in detention.

The next court hearing for the two Burmese minors is scheduled for Feb. 29. Wai Lin and Sein Kadone appeared in court on Jan. 18 and their next hearing is set for March 14.

The case is expected to be closely scrutinized after a Thai court sentenced two Burmese migrant workers to death last month for the murder of two British backpackers on a Thai resort island in September 2014. The verdict prompted days of protests outside the Thai Embassy in Rangoon.