Indymedia repression Thailand
Akha and Indymedia Activist Arrested in Thailand21 Apr 2004 09:20 GMT
Matthew McDaniel was arrested on 11:00 AM Thursday, April 15th at the Maisai Immigration Checkpoint while going to deliver vitamins to an Akha friend in Burma. Matthew McDaniel was fighting to save the land of Aooh Yok Akhe that was being taken by the government.
In January 2004, Matthew McDaniel officially filed a report with the U.N., citing 47 cases of murder, extra judicial killings, torture and other abuse by the Thai Army and Police against Hill Tribe People. For three weeks, Matthew McDaniel had heard serious rumours from leaks at the U.S. Embassy in Thailand that he was going to be deported. He complained via email to Embassy Personnel that such leaks were reckless and illegal and asked for the reports to be confirmed. However, the Embassy gave no reply, negligence that prevented Mr. McDaniel from making arrangements to protect himself and his wife from police abuse, arrest and deportation.
Matthew McDaniel’s wife is pregnant and he has four children living in Chiang Rai. Matthew is currently held by the Thai Authorities at the Suan Phlu Immigration Detention Centre and awaiting deportation. He has been informed of the charges against him or been able to speak with a lawyer about his case. The U.S. Embassy has not sent a representative to discuss the status of his case or the possibility of stopping the deportation proceedings. For now, Mr. McDaniel waits, knowing his wife and children are at risk, and hoping that he can challenge the legality of his arrest and deportation through formal channels.
What You Can Do:
Write to your Nearest Thai Embassy and demand the immediate and unconditional release of Michael McDaniel! Demand an official apology from the Thai authorities.
Write your MP/Senator and demand a full inquiry into the arrest of Mr. McDaniel. If you are American, demand a full accounting from the U.S. embassy in Thailand for its failure to protect an American Human Rights Activist. Pass this article far and wide. Encourage international and local press to write articles, condemning the actions of the Thai authorities and calling for Matthews release.
If you happen to be in Thailand, you can visit him and speak with him directly during visiting hours at the Suan Phlu Immigration Detention Centre. To do so, you must arrive between 10:00-11:00 to receive a form. The doors open for visiting at 11:00, but it is good to be there early. Bring your passport, which you will have to check at the door. You can visit his room (2) from 11:00-12:00 and speak openly with him.
Visit www.akha.org for more information. Make a donation to the Akha projects. Deported or not the projects will continue. Read more about Mr. McDaniel and his fight to save the Akha people:For more information see Jim Pollard’s article, “Akha Crusader: "US Activist Detained at Suan Phlu." The Nation. 18 April 2004.