92 Thai detainees in Myanmar not yet put on trial on drug charge

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BANGKOK, 27 July 2012  – Foreign Affairs Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul has disclosed that the Burmese court has not yet tried the 92 detained Thais on additional drug charges. He affirms that everyone of them is safe and sound. 

According to the Minister, Foreign Affairs officials have been sent to Kawthaung in Myanmar to visit the Thai detainees, but they are still waiting for Myanmar’s permission for the visit. As far as the officials know, all of the detainees have only been tried for illegal entry and forest encroachment which resulted in their jail term of 3 years and six months.

Mr. Surapong said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will closely monitor the Burmese court’s trial. He added that, in principle, the 92 Thais could appeal their cases and the Ministry would assist them in every step of the way.

He said that the Foreign Ministry was also studying whether it would be possible for them to seek a state pardon.