Thai police said on Monday as many as 91 Rohingya boat people, who ended up in the country while fleeing from Myanmar, will be deported, the Voice of America said on Monday.
Rohingya are stateless, Bengali-speaking Muslims from northern Rakhine state in Myanmar, according to the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHCR).
According to Thai authorities a group of them came to Thai shores after their boat developed engine troubles while sailing to Malaysia.
There have been allegations in the past that the Rohingya are intercepted by Thailand near their shores and left to die once brought to land.
There are 28,000 Rohingya recognized refugees in two UNHCR camps in Bangladesh and some 200,000 unregistered Rohingya living outside the camps there. For several years now in this season, many of them have been desperate enough to risk their lives at sea in small boats sailing from Bangladesh or Myanmar, often turning up in Thailand, Malaysia or as far away as Indonesia, UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond said last week.
UNHCR had requested the Thai government for access to two groups of Rohingya held in Thailand so that the agency could determine whether they needed international protection.
In 2009, a group of Rohingya, who were deported from Thailand and rescued by Indonesia, had accused the Thai army of gross rights violations. They said the army abused them before rounding up them and leaving on the sea in rickety boats without engines.
Thailand considers the boat people as illegal economic migrants and that they would deport the would-be-immigrants. The government has maintained that it will not offer any refugee camp to them.
Last week UNHCR called for a humanitarian solution to what it says is a regional problem and said the Thai government should take all measures to make sure the lives of the Rohingya boat people are not put at risk.